How Does the World Celebrate Black Friday and Cyber Monday?

United States By Christy Lowry November 17, 2022

While November’s Black Friday is an American tradition and the most popular time of year for Americans to begin—and even complete—all their holiday gift shopping, this unofficial holiday has been adopted by many other countries eager to capitalize on the season of giving. As Cyber Monday arose and competed for attention, the world also adopted this online shopping event.

Check out some shopping traditions from around the world and decide where you’d like to get your major holiday deals this year.

Where is Black Friday celebrated around the world? 

United States

In the United States, Black Friday comes the day after the Thanksgiving holiday (which is on the fourth Thursday in November) is a major event for families and close friends. The day provides an opportunity for families to finish their holiday shopping or even buy major household items that are now heavily discounted. Most people make a whole day out of it, some even treating it like a sport and mapping out their whole shopping plan. Many shoppers want to take advantage of the unbeatable prices, in fact, nearly 155 million Americans went Black Friday shopping in 2021.

Canada

As Black Friday’s popularity rose in the 21st century, the unofficial holiday spread to other countries, especially America’s northern neighbor. Canadian retailers wanted to keep shoppers on their side of the border, halting the trek to the U.S. for deals. Around 2008, Canada started to offer Black Friday deals to compete with the ones in the U.S. and keep their bargain hunters border side.

United Kingdom 

Even though Thanksgiving is not a holiday in the U.K., many retailers still take advantage of Black Friday on the Friday following America’s Thanksgiving. In the early 2000s, many U.K. retailers began offering Black Friday discounts. In fact, in 2014, U.K.’s online Black Friday sales were higher than the U.S.’s online sales.

Mexico 

In Mexico, El Buen Fin (The Good Weekend) is the weekend before the celebration of the Mexican Revolution, which is the third Monday of November, and has become an unofficial shopping extravaganza. El Buen Fin became popular in November of 2011, and this nationwide shopping event is Mexico’s version of Black Friday.

China

The biggest online shopping event in the world is Singles Day, a Chinese Holiday on November 11th to celebrate unmarried people. Although it is not an official holiday, the event encourages singles to treat themselves to gifts and expensive items. This e-commerce event takes place on Alibaba’s platforms and surpasses both Black Friday and Cyber Monday in customer spending. More than 30,000 brands from 25 countries sell on Alibaba.

Boxing Day 

Boxing Day is celebrated on December 26th in the U.K, Canada, Australia, Ireland, and other British Commonwealth countries. It was initially a day off for workers and servants. The rich were supposed to box up gifts and money for those less fortunate. Today, it’s a final attempt for retailers to rid themselves of leftover merchandise as the holiday season comes to an end. Many shoppers use this day as an excuse to treat themselves and hand off unwanted gifts. Boxing Day has sales both in-store and online.

Is Cyber Monday celebrated around the world? 

In addition to Black Friday, Cyber Monday (the Monday after Thanksgiving) has also made a global impression. Online shopping has become the new staple, in part due to the worldwide pandemic. Over the course of Cyber Week in November, from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday, a total of 34.6 million U.S. dollars was spent online in 2021, according to Adobe.

Some analysts debate whether Amazon Prime Day provides better shopping deals than Cyber Monday. Amazon also ships globally, so the two unofficial holidays have become quite the competitors. In a survey by Simon Kucher, 16% of consumers prefer the deals on Amazon Prime Day versus 13% that prefer Cyber Monday (as of November 2020). But, as retailers continually compete, consumer preferences may change.

Small retailers continue to do well during the holidays, especially if you celebrate #smallbusinesssaturday, which originated in the U.S in 2010. The day is meant to shine a light on hardworking small businesses, urging shoppers to support their small town’s economy during Thanksgiving weekend. According to the National Retail Federation, over 55 million Americans shopped on Small Business Saturday in 2021.

Are you interested in sending a money transfer as a gift? 

It’s a common truth that many people prefer money as the ultimate gift to do with as they please. If your loved ones live in a different country, gifting money can be easier than mailing a gift. So, if you want to send money to loved ones as a gift this holiday season, consider a money transfer.

The Western Union app can help you send a money transfer easily and conveniently, almost anywhere in the world. Just download the WU app and upload your financial information as well as the information of the receiver. You can use a debit card, credit card, or bank account number to send a money transfer.

Whether you want to pay for Christmas dinner or ease the holiday season’s bills, Western Union can help you send along a gift of money to friends and family across the world.

Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and other global shopping events are a great excuse to get your holiday shopping finished and in order. Whatever your seasonal traditions may be, remember to treat your friends and loved ones to something special, and add a little something for yourself to the shopping cart!