The Icelandic media has now started warning people about “Black Friday”, despite the absence of Thanksgiving, and many local shops have reportedly taken up the tradition.
For the unaware, Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving (which always falls on a Thursday). A recent American invention, the day is characterised by many stores announcing sales on a single day, long lines, frantic crowds, and high stress. In fact, the term itself originates from the Philadelphia police, who grew to dread the day after Thanksgiving for the crowds and traffic congestion problems that arose.
RÚV has issued a warning to Icelanders about Black Friday. Describing it as “the beginning of the Christmas shopping season amongst American merchants”, they report that “Icelandic companies are now playing along”. This is followed by a Telegraph link from last year about “chaos and violence” breaking out across the country on the occasion of this day, and several Vine videos showing mobs of people rushing into stores.
Those currently visiting Iceland probably have little to worry about if they want to go shopping tomorrow. Icelandic companies have had Black Friday (called “Svartur föstudagur”) sales before – here are two examples from a 2013 edition of Fréttablaðið. To date, chaos and violence in Icelandic stores have not been greater on this day than it has been on any other.