This blog post was updated on November 18, 2020.
Crazy crowds, super sales, long lines… Black Friday is nothing short of an unforgettable, adrenaline-boosting, grand holiday and what we like to call “the Olympics of bargain shopping”. In the U.S., this day is marked as the largest shopping day of the year. One that has spread like wildfire, catching on internationally to become the global phenomenon that it’s today. And although shopping as a sport hasn’t quite popularized, it most certainly has as a holiday! If you find yourself itching for a shopping spree on your next trip, here are some places for you to go that have their own mega-bargain, shop-’til-you-drop holidays. Check it out!
China – Singles Day (November 11)
Calling all single people! Yes, this is a festival just for you. On November 11, the single people of China gather together to celebrate the fact that they are proud of being single, the idea being that every single person on this day is surrounded by thousands of others not attached to a significant other, so you’re not alone! People all across the country celebrate by throwing “blind date” parties, while retailers encourage a “treat yourself” attitude by offering immense discounts, sales, and plenty of promo codes for their online consumers. Single or not, thanks to the incredible bargains on this day people flee to the stores (or go online) to shop their hearts out, making it the largest day of consumption in China! So why November 11th, you might wonder? The original date — which started in 2011 — reads 11/11/11 which is just about as many 1’s you can stick into a date, clever huh?
Mexico – El Buen Fin (3rd Weekend in November)
Think Christmas, the Mexican Revolution, and Black Friday… all in one. That’s what El Buen Fin stands to celebrate. Literally translated, El Buen Fin means “The Good End”, but in this context it’s used to describe the sentiments of “The Good Weekend” (that is, El Buen Fin de Semana). It has been Mexico’s largest nationwide shopping event since 2011. The weekend leads up to the the 3rd Monday of every November, which commemorated the Mexican Revolution (originally on November 20). Modeled after the American Black Friday, retailers and government officials implemented this holiday to revive the Mexican economy and encourage consumption to a broader demographic, while giving customers a chance to stock up on presents for the upcoming Navidad (Christmas). So, needless to say, if you happen to find yourself in Mexico for El Buen Fin… we hope you add “Shop ’til you drop” to your travel agenda!
White Day – Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China (March 14)
In many East Asian countries, Valentine’s Day is widely known as a female-centric holiday – one in which women present chocolate gifts to men as an expression of love or interest. As a ploy to boost marshmallow sales, Japanese confectionery companies deemed it a social obligation for men to gift them to women as a symbol of gratitude. Thus, White Day was born as a response holiday, to give men the opportunity to respond and reciprocate the gifts they received on Valentine’s Day. On March 14 (exactly one month after Valentine’s Day), men all across these nations rush to the stores to purchase white colored gifts such as white roses, white chocolate, white gold jewelry, or marshmallows for those same women they received Valentine’s Day chocolates from. Since the gifts span so widely from edible to non-edible options, White Day has quickly become a day where shopping reigns strong!
You may also like: 7 Ways to Get Cheap Flights for Black Friday
Boxing Day – United Kingdom (December 26)
On December 26th, the day after Christmas, this post-holiday celebration was originally observed to give laborers (servants, errand-boys, postal workers, etc.) a chance to receive presents of their own. After a weekend of serving others and delivering innumerable holiday packages, on the first weekday after the holidays, service-industry workers would receive a “Christmas Box” containing anything from a bonus, leftover foods, or small gifts such as warm clothing for the winter or toys for their children. Centuries later, this holiday has spread into other neighboring nations and is very much like Black Friday. Boxing Day is a day for — you guessed it — shopping. From doorbuster deals to, shoulder-to-shoulder crowds, this day is one for mass consumption, so it’s a good thing shoppers are going into this with filled bellies and in positive holiday spirits!
Know of any other great shopping holidays from around the world? Share them with us in the comments!