The day is known as the Black Friday and is celebrated almost like Christmas and Thanksgiving. The idea of Black Friday is a westernised thing but became popular because of Amazon Black Friday sales and Amazon Cyber Monday deals each year all over the world. Let's see some of the important facts and educate ourselves with the myths surrounding the Black Friday.
What is Black Friday and when is it celebrated?
Black Friday is a casual name given to a Friday which comes right after the celebration of Thanksgiving Day in the United States. Thanksgiving 2020 will be celebrated on Thursday 26 November and Black Friday 2020 will be celebrated on Friday, 27 November. In other words, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November, and the fourth Friday of November is Black Friday of each year. The month of December is when the holiday season of Christmas begins with a spirit. The shopping spree begins from that day, and the salesmen use several tactics to sell their goods. At times, the Black Friday sales kick off on the day of Thanksgiving also. In this modern era, many shops and brands advertise by October, November to gain the attraction of the consumers. It is no longer a one-day shopping spree. Not all countries observe Black Friday as a holiday. However, countries like the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, Germany, Italy, and New Zealand observe it as a holiday just for shopping. This one day leave constitutes a four-day continuous leave, including the weekend.
History of Black Friday
Black Friday is said to be the busiest shopping year of all times since 2005 and no other celebration has broken the record till date. People wait for long hours in the queue to purchase what they want and grab as much as they can. Four events instigated the celebration to a great extent. In the late 19th century, President Lincoln makes the Thanksgiving official holiday. His announcement paves the way to the beginning of the celebration. In 1905, a Canadian store hosted a Thanksgiving parade which is the first in history. Macy's is a chain of departmental store which launched its Thanksgiving parade for the first time in 1942. During the year of 1950, people started to call in sick in their work after Thanksgiving. This lie got them a holiday to go shopping the next day after Thanksgiving. At last in 1966, the holiday term "Black Friday" was used in print media.
Many may wonder how the word "Black" entered into a day of celebration as black is a word used for some disaster or troubles. According to history, many manufacturers, sellers and retailers claim that their higher profits are recorded during this period. Losses in the market or any business were recorded in the red link and black for the gains. This is how the name picked up, and the Internet popularised it. Earlier it was just called as the 'Day after Thanksgiving Sale' or something of that sort.
Violence during Black Friday
We all live in a very materialistic world where commodification is a major problem. People fail to realise that running after materialistic pleasure will not end well. Every year since 2008, problems, fighting, stampede occur in large numbers. Minimum of ten to twenty people get minor to major injuries and at times people, especially the shop keepers, die due to violent circumstances. Below are the few gory incidents recorded in history.
2015: In a mall in Florence, several people got into a fight over a pair of sneakers. 2015 was termed as the "The worst Black Friday brawls in history" as people instantly captured the atrocities using their smartphone and uploaded it on the Internet.
2016: In New Jersey, a boy and his brother were shot outside the Macy's store. The motive remains a puzzle, but one boy died on the spot. In Tennessee, a man was injured in a mall by a gunshot too.
2019: In USA mall in New York, someone used their weapon in the food court. The adult shot a victim twice in the leg. The entire mall was put into a lockdown.
The police department faces several problems from security to safeguard themselves from the stampede. A large number of people equals great chaos. Every year thousands of people get injured in the stampede, and people who possess weapons like gun tend to use it too. Many actions legally are taken on such people after arresting them.
Tips for Black Friday shopping
Black Friday shopping has become a trending thing now, and we can hardly find people who do not shop on that day. Here below are few tips one can follow during that day.
- There are many shops and stores nearby you with many offers and sale boards. Check store maps and make a list of where you want to visit. Also, make a list of things you want to buy, which will make the process even easier.
- Prioritise what you need first and then, the things you can buy at any time. Decide and fix the most vital thing you want and from where you want.
- There is a website dedicated entirely to bring the attention of sales to the customers. Visit https://www.theblackfriday.com every day to check hot deals. Black Friday deals are available before Black Friday begins.
- Shopping online is one of the best ways to avoid stampede, injuries or getting killed. Amazon Black Friday deals, Macy's Black Friday deals, Walmart Black Friday deals, JCPenney Black Friday deals; everything is there online.
- When it comes to online shopping, missing a deal is not a huge deal because anything can be brought online.
Fun facts about Black Friday
- Shopping on Black Friday is more dangerous than fun.
- There is a separate website called http://blackfridaydeathcount.com/ to record the number of deaths or injuries during the great sale.
- Black Friday is said to be going extinct as people start shopping before and sometimes even finish by ThanksGiving. Therefore sellers may come up with a new term "Grey Thursday" in the near future.
- Historians believe the term "Black Friday" was found in Philadelphia. The term was coined somewhere around the mid-1960s where the people, especially bus drivers and police, used the word to describe the heavy traffic that hinders the movement of the vehicles due to the shopping spree.
Myths about Black Friday
- Black Friday deals are the best, and one cannot miss it. It is however not true as deals are available all at all times of the year. Moreover, anyone would want the least to trip over a toy and break their leg.
- The term "Black Friday" was used to denote a stock market crash; however, the stock market crash happened on a Tuesday and not on a Friday.
- Black Friday is not the biggest shopping day of the year as most of the shopping happens on Saturday before Christmas which is termed as the "Super Christmas".
- "Cyber-Monday", the Monday following Black Friday is said to be the busiest online shopping day of the year. It is a myth too as statistically, the day didn't record much of mind-blowing data for sales.
Overall, these are the few insights of when, where and how the Black Friday is celebrated. Do not forget to support the day from your country by purchasing from any best buy after thanksgiving sales online!
Co-author: Akshaya Saravana Kumar
Akshaya is currently pursuing Masters in English Literature. She is an avid reader, an animal lover and a movie freak. She loves to spend her past time travelling to strange places in different time zones with her imagination and fall in love with fictional characters.