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November 2015

Busiest holiday shopping days around the world

How people around the world celebrate by shopping

Black Friday (United States)

Stores know how to get their customers to shop; it’s a science. Long before Thanksgiving even begins, Americans can expect Christmas decor splashed across shopping malls throughout the country. Black Friday, the busiest (read: craziest) shopping day of the year, occurs the Friday after Thanksgiving. People begin queueing early in the morning in front of shops for an opportunity to save on big-ticket items like televisions and hot toys (in some extreme instances shoppers queue up the day before). While on the surface it comes off as a commercialized frenzy (indeed, many shopping-related incidences have occurred at great peril to shoppers), many families have turned the occasion into an event of togetherness. Tents and packaged food in tow, many literally pitch a camp in line, waiting for the stores to open. Today, many other countries have since imported the idea of Black Friday.

Singles’ Day (China)

Also known as Guanggun Jie ("bare sticks holiday"), Singles' Day is a celebration for relationship-free individuals in China. Occurring appropriately on 11/11 (one is the loneliest number, they say), the popular festival is also one of the largest online shopping days in the world. Festivities are mainly targeted at youths, including events focused on dating. In 2015, sales on Alibaba sites Tmall and Taobao brought in €13.5 billion. In 2014, sales amounted to €8.8 billion. One can only assume that, as the purchasing power of the average Chinese citizen increases over time, 2016 ought to see record numbers.

El Buen Fin (Mexico)

El Buen Fin ("the good weekend") occurs in Mexico across four days in November. In 2015, El Buen Fin took place from November 13-16, the weekend prior to celebrations of the Mexican Revolution, which ended during this time in 1920. In 2014, retailers in Mexico City accrued approximately €11.3 billion. Originally inspired by Black Friday, El Buen Fin was conceived to increase consumption in Mexico, thereby boosting its economy, as well as offering some assistance to the overall welfare of the country's families.

Before the Diwali Festival (India)

Diwali ("festival of lights") is the largest annual holiday in India. Dating back to ancient Hindu times, the celebration of light over darkness is observed not only by Hindus, but also by Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists. The days leading up to Diwali are the country's busiest shopping days of the year. Retailers offer discounts starting around the end of October. In fact, it's considered favorable to make large purchases during this period. Who doesn’t like to bring in a little good luck?

When is the busiest shopping day of the year in your country? How does it make you feel? Let us know on Facebook and be sure to “like” TELC English for more articles on culture from around the world.

Picture: Fotolia, (c) Bilderjet medi@

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