I seem to visit other countries during their public holidays quite a bit. Sometimes it’s planned like being in Dublin on St. Patrick’s day, sometimes it’s quite obvious like staying in Australia over Christmas, but sometimes it comes as a surprise like experiencing Han-gawi in Korea or Thanksgiving in New York. I must admit I did not have those on my radar.
While for visitors public holidays often merely go along with annoying changes in their sightseeing or shopping plans, it’s actually not a bad way to get a better understanding of a culture. A country’s holidays can tell you quite a bit about their people.
Thanksgiving is huge in the US, for many shops and attractions it is (besides maybe Christmas Day) the only day off. It’s about giving thanks for the harvest, spending time with the family, watching the parade and the football game and of course eating
some lots of turkey.
However, there’s also Black Friday, the massive shopping day after Thanksgiving. Many places already open Thanksgiving night or even earlier. The store, at which I bought my basketball shoes, is open 36 hours straight from Thursday 2pm to Friday 2am and it was already well crowded shortly after they opened.
It feels a bit like Christmas: The traditions are still a part of it (maybe even more so in the US), but commercialism is starting to take over. I will rather go with the Buy Nothing Day tomorrow.