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What is the origin of Black Friday and why is it called that?

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  • Did you know that in 2019 Black Friday sales amounted to more than $142 billion?
  • This is one of the most anticipated days to buy items at deep discounts.
  • Learn a little more about the origin of Black Friday.

Black Friday is one of the most anticipated dates in the United States, but do you know why it is called that? On top of being a day that brings shoppers out in hoards, not everyone knows the history of this annual event, which is also customary in other parts of the world.

Black Friday is the opportunity to generate a great deal of business for retailers, not only in the United States, but around the world, thanks to the eager crowds looking for deep discounts. Learn more about Black Friday!

Origin of Black Friday


Although the phrase «black day» is associated with the commemoration of a tragic date, the reality is that the origin of Black Friday has more to do with the working conditions that the employees of some factories demanded and the strategies they used to get more days off to enjoy a long weekend after thanksgiving.

According to historians who have studied the origin, it was in the 50’s when a strange coincidence was reported in various workplaces. Employees called in sick on that Friday, when in fact they were looking for an excuse to have more days off.

Why is it called that?

An image with the phrase black friday sale

On many occasions, attempts were made to give Black Friday another name, but with little success. Among the alternative options were «The Great Friday» or «The Great Saturday». However, these proposals never had the same success and were soon forgotten.

The first ‘official’ record dates back to 1975, when the New York Times referred to this day as «The day of the year with more people shopping and more traffic on the streets.» Until 1985, some cities still did not adopt this practice, which today enjoys enormous popularity throughout the world.

Is Black Friday a holiday?

A clock with phrase black friday on yellow black background

Given the popularity that Black Friday has in the United States, and the influence that this date has in the rest of the world, one might think that this day is a US holiday, but it is not. Black Friday is not an official holiday. However, in states like California the day after thanksgiving is considered a holiday.

This means that some schools and businesses give an extra day off, resulting in four official days off that people can use to shop for clearance or deeply discounted items at all stores!

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