Black Friday is the Friday following Thanksgiving Day in the United States, traditionally the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. The term dates back to at least 1966, although its usage was primarily on the East coast. The term has become more common in other parts of the country since 2000. Because Thanksgiving falls on the fourth Thursday in November in the United States, Black Friday occurs between the 23rd and the 29th of November. This year, Black Friday will occur on 26 November.
There are two popular theories as to why the day after Thanksgiving is called Black Friday. The term “Black Friday” may have originated in Philadelphia, where it was used to describe the heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic which would occur on the day after Thanksgiving. The other theory is that it comes from an old-fashioned way of recording business accounts. Losses were recorded in red ink and profits in black ink. Many businesses, particularly small retail stores, only started making profits in the run up to Christmas. Many hoped that they would start showing a profit, which could be marked in black ink, on the day after Thanksgiving. This theory does not apply to many large corporations, but may be a fact of life for smaller businesses.
As shopping is a very popular activity on Black Friday and many stores have sales or special bargains, it can be incredibly busy in stores and malls. Some stores have extended opening hours to cope with the extra shoppers. There can also be congestion on roads to popular shopping destinations.
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