Black Friday and GivingTuesday are two days with completely different meanings, whose only point in common is the fact that they were both started in the United States, but spread around the world and are currently global trends.

Black Friday, which takes place on 26 November, is characterised by sales that allow consumers to buy goods at lower prices. In turn, GivingTuesday was born out of the need to oppose the consumerism that is being seen every year during Black Fridays. Instead, GivingTuesday, on 30 November, aims to inspire people to give back by donating their money, goods, time or even blood.

Black Friday on 26 November

Influenced by north-American culture, this phenomenon started in Portugal about a decade ago and is here to stay, offering consumers the chance to buy products at reduced prices, with the possibility of taking advantage of large discounts.

This year, on Black Friday almost all traders in Portugal are taking part and promoting sales the day after Thanksgiving even without this holiday taking place in Portugal, as it effectively begins the Christmas shopping season, being one of the most important campaigns for the brands’ businesses.

As for the origin, no one knows for sure why it's called Black Friday. One of the stories behind this tradition is related to slave labour in the 1800s, when apparently farm owners could buy slave workers ‘at a discount’ on the day after Thanksgiving. However, there are other stories behind Black Friday, such as the one that tells that after a year when stores were at loss (in red in the accounting system), they started to make a profit (they went into the black) due to high sales after the Thanksgiving holiday.

Black Friday “doesn’t make sense anymore”

According to a study promoted by Portal da Queixa, 75 percent of consumers in Portugal stated that Black Friday does not make sense anymore as there are sales throughout the year.

However, 50.80 percent of the respondents said they often wait until this day to make their purchases. For these consumers, technology is a top priority, followed by fashion products and accessories.

In fact, instead of taking advantage of sales, there are more and more people who prefer to spend their money on solidarity actions, such as donating to a charity in need.

Going to action on 30 November

To combat the trend of consumerism represented by Black Friday, in 2012 the new “Black Friday” of solidarity was born in the USA. “The movement came from a disapproval of Black Friday, but nowadays it is much more than that, the goal is to increase generosity throughout the year”, said Sofia Mascarenhas, Global Leader of GivingTuesday Portugal.

“GivingTuesday, the world's biggest solidarity movement, is officially observed in more than 70 countries and is celebrated one day a year at the same time around the world, always on the first Tuesday after Black Friday. In 2020, this movement in the US represented $2.47 billion donated to social causes”, she told The Portugal News.

This year, GivingTuesday has a new motto: “You & Me together we change the world. Big changes can start with small gestures. Sometimes all it takes is a smile to change someone's life and change the world.”

According to Sofia Mascarenhas: “GivingTuesday is the biggest chain of solidarity across the planet” and has been celebrated in Portugal for three years.

How can I help?

According to Sofia, people can visit the GivingTuesday website - whether they are companies or individuals - and choose the association they want to help and how they want to do it. Then, through their personal interests, they can find the association that means the most to them.

Sometimes this is the beginning of a relationship with an association. “We have got stories that motivate us, namely from small associations. They become very happy because we give them visibility that they didn't have before. They don't find it so easy to raise resources”, she told The Portugal News.

If you would like to help a Portuguese association next Tuesday, please take a look at: