Country Without Thanksgiving Celebrates Black Friday, Because Capitalism - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Country Without Thanksgiving Celebrates Black Friday, Because Capitalism

Published November 25, 2016

Photo by
Powhusku/Wikimedia Commons

Any excuse is the right excuse to promote sales, and that includes adopting quasi-holidays from abroad.

Over the past week or so, Icelanders have noticed several retail outlets offering sales for Black Friday, or “Svartur föstudagur” as it is called in Icelandic. Some Icelanders are taking the adoption of this holiday better than others.

Vísir reports, for example, that a long line of people formed in front of the household wares store Elko in the early hours of this morning in anticipation of Black Friday sales.

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.

Those visiting Iceland need not worry about violence and mob scenes breaking out at the various and sundry retail stores in the country. Icelandic companies have had Black Friday 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.

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