Black Friday has been around in the US for several decades. Now some advertisers in the UK are trying to instill it in the minds of people there. Hear's why the British should resist.

What is Black Friday? In America, it is the day after Thanksgiving Day and it is called Black Friday because it heralds in the official Christmas shopping season. Shoppers make a mad dash for the stores and begin buying presents left and right out of fear they won't be there if they wait. Not long ago, the television show South Park ran a programme about Black Friday where people were waiting outside the mall for it to open so they could be the first to get in and get their presents. The result when the mall was finally opened was widespread rioting and people getting trampled to death. Being South Park, it was done with their famous sense of satirical humour, which I enjoyed immensely. While there was some dark truth to the episode, it was the gross exaggeration that has made Stone and Parker so funny over the years. Personally, I don't remember Black Friday being quite so bad.

[caption id="attachment_974" align="aligncenter" width="299"] Black Friday carnage as seen on South Park[/caption]

There are now commercials on UK television talking about Black Friday sales. My reaction was, "How can there be a Black Friday when Thanksgiving is not celebrated in the UK? Part of the reason for Black Friday is that Americans are so focused on Thanksgiving until the day, there aren't thinking too much about Christmas. That all changes when Thanksgiving Day is over. Then it becomes a full focus towards the Christmas holidays in many facets of American life. I wonder if that's why Santa is the final float in the Thanksgiving Day Parade.

My point is that there is no need for a Black Friday in the UK. Many people are already in the process of doing their Christmas shopping, they don't need any particular day to tell them when to begin. It's all a ploy by advertisers to try to get more people shopping for Christmas.

It is the youth of Britain this push for Black Friday is aimed at. Especially as they are the ones who are most exposed to the media and like American things. This is why there is now Halloween and proms in the UK. However, these two items are harmless in my view and most who oppose them do so solely on the grounds that they're American. Black Friday is not a holiday or official tradition, it's something made up by media to explain the onslaught of shoppers the day after Thanksgiving. It is not an American tradition in spite of what television might say and there is no need for such a day in the UK.

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Published by Michael Lefevre