Black Friday and Thanksgiving
Everyone now knows what happens on a Friday at the end of November: Black Friday. We all drive into town and go shopping, because …. Black Friday has got great sales. But do you know why Black Friday even exists?
It’s the American Thanksgiving. We also have a Thanksgiving festival in Germany and in other contries, but Thanksgiving is something different.
Thanksgiving is celebrated on the 4th Thursday in November and is the largest family celebration in the USA. Just like we do in Germany at Christmas, the whole family gets together that day. Since people in the USA sometimes live a few thousand kilometers away, there is total chaos on this long weekend at all airports, train stations and roads.
Thanksgiving dates back to the time of the settlers. In 1621 the Pilgrim Fathers landed in Massachusetts with the famous sailing ship “Mayflower”. It’s on the Atlantic coast between New York and Canada. The Pilgrim Fathers had no idea, however, how to cultivate the soil sensibly and how to plant cereals and vegetables. To their surprise, they received help from the local Indians and were able to survive the winter. In gratitude, they celebrated a three-day festival with the Indians, Thanksgiving.
Almost 170 years later, George Washington declared a Thanksgiving Day for the first time. And Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving a national holiday.
Thanksgiving is celebrated with a big meal and with dishes that were already eaten at the first Thanksgiving. Turkey with different sauces and many side dishes.
Thanksgiving is about thanking God for the things of the past year. There is also always a prayer of thanksgiving at the White House speech by the President.
Many turn the Thanksgiving party into a long weekend and take the Friday off. Schools and universities also have no lessons on Fridays on Thanksgiving weekends. That’s where the name “Black Friday” comes from.
On this Black Friday the shops traditionally offer many discounts and special offers.
And since Christmas time officially begins after Thanksgiving, most people start their Christmas shopping that day. We in Germany have only had Black Friday since 2013.
By the way, Black Friday has nothing to do with the 1929 stock market crash, which in the USA is called Black Thursday.