Although Buy Nothing Day can be celebrated as a holiday, most people consider it an anti-holiday. It is a day that is celebrated all over North America and Europe on the Friday after the United States’ Thanksgiving – on the same day as Black Friday. In a sense, this makes this holiday the anti-Black Friday, at least in the U.S. In some parts of Europe, however, it is celebrated on the last Saturday in November.
History of Buy Nothing Day
The roots of Buy Nothing Day can be traced all the way to 1992. This is when a not-for-profit magazine called AdBusters decided to fight back against the perceived takeover against people’s bodies, environments, and minds by commercial forces. The first Buy Nothing Day celebration began in Canada that same year, except it was observed in September and not November. Later on, it would be moved to its current date. Over the years, it has spread from North America into Europe. Now, it is celebrated in both the United Kingdom and in Sweden.
However, while Buy Nothing Day is being celebrated by more and more people, it is also beginning to receive more criticism. Some people complain that Buy Nothing Day really doesn’t do anything except to delay people’s shopping. That it doesn’t really work to change the underlying consumerism habit. Instead of going to shop on this day, they just go out the next day or the weekend following.
Buy Nothing Day Customs & Traditions
Buy Nothing Day is celebrated in a number of different ways all over the world. While a lot of people will merely celebrate the holiday by not frequenting online or brick and mortar stores, or by simply not buying anything, other people will use one of the other ways of celebrating this holiday – some of which are listed below:
Credit Card Cutting Up: One way to celebrate the holiday is by standing in a shopping mall with a poster that advertises to people that you’ll help them end their mounting debt by cutting up their credit cards – at no cost to them.
Zombie Walk: Another method of celebrating this holiday is to act like a zombie and walk through shopping malls. While these “zombies” don’t bother shoppers, they do give them a blank stare as they push their empty zombie shopping carts through the store or mall.
Whirly Mart: This celebration/protest involves participants steering their shopping carts (or shopping trolleys) around the malls or stores in a long, conga-like line. All the while they are not putting a single thing into their carts.
Buy Nothing Hike: Another way to celebrate the holiday is to forgo all stores and instead head out to nature to enjoy forest, rivers, and mountains.
Other types of Buy Nothing Day celebrations and traditions include the Buy Nothing Day Bike Ride, the Buy Nothing Day Paddle, and the Wildcat General strike. The Wildcat General Strike is when people not only refuse to buy anything on this holiday, but they refuse to use gas or electricity, their phones or their cars.
When is Buy Nothing Day?
|This year (2022)||November 25 (Friday)||Multiple dates - more|
|Next year (2023)||November 24 (Friday)||Multiple dates - more|
|Last year (2021)||November 26 (Friday)||Multiple dates - more|