Friday, 25 November 2011

Sarah's Fun Fact Fridays! - Back to Black!

Welcome to my Black Fun Fact Friday!

Why Black? Well Stateside today is officially Black Friday and the biggest shopping day of the year! From my limited experience last year I was told shops opened at 4am!!!! The ‘Black’ part was added to the Friday back in 1966 and referred to the ‘heavy and disruptive traffic’ that occurred in Philadelphia the day after Thanksgiving- turning the air ‘black’.

More recently retailers have adopted the term to highlight today being the day they turn a profit ‘moving out of the red and into the black’.
On your mark, get set, oh- you've probably gone already...
If you are reading this after an epic Black Friday shopping trip – well done – you made it! It looks like others weren't so lucky- in L.A., shoppers got 'maced' in the face by a 'competitive shopper' at WalMart (read the article HERE!). We also heard Justin Bieber caused chaos at Macy's midnight opening For us Brits, we have to wait until Boxing Day for our sales to start or the 10th December for Oxford Street to become traffic free to enable us to shop easier.

Boxing Day (December 26th)– not just a shopping day actually – it’s officially still Christmas! Well, the 2nd day of Christmas! It is celebrated all over the Commonwealth and named after the ‘Christmas boxes’ that were handed out to workers on the first weekday after Christmas as a thank you for their hard work! More recently it has come to represent the tradition of ‘boxing up’ unwanted and leftover food & gifts to give to the needy.

But back to Thanksgiving, as it is the season. Thanksgiving is still all new to me; in fact I hadn’t had a Thanksgiving meal until 2010! (Thanks Mum Smith!). For Americans I understand it is a great family celebration, and a few days off, to celebrate things to be thankful for. And it’s been happening since 1621. Started in Plymouth (the US one not the UK one – although the name is the same because the Pilgrims weren’t very imaginative and wanted to feel at home, so named it after the town they left from) and prompted because of a good harvest.- although there are a lot of other theories. The ‘story’ is that the Plymouth Colony did not have enough food to feed half of the 102 colonists so the Wampandag native Americans provided seeds and taught them to fish, the next year the pilgrims had reason to be thankful – and so tradition was born!
What an odd bunch those pilgrams were...
In the UK we have no such celebration although our Plymouth has more of a history. Named because its at the ‘mouth of the river Plym’ – originally Plympton – or Plum-tree Town’, it’s been around since the Bronze Age and is one of the UK’s first trading ports.
Plymouth, where the country ends or maybe begins!
Oh and it holds a Thanksgiving event!

I hope you learned something new, and enjoy your left-over turkey!

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