These days, the internet and online shopping has made physically braving the masses on Black Friday less necessary. Instead of fighting your way through traffic jams and hordes of shoppers, you can stay in your jammies and browse Amazon, eBay and Booking.com. While doing so, make your shopping adventure a little easier with our Black Friday online shopping tips and enjoy the following brain-candy about Black Friday’s origin.

What and when is Black Friday?

Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving. Because of this, many people have the day off and shops feel that they can justifiably start the Christmas shopping season. Those two factors, over time, helped grow Black Friday into one of the biggest shopping days of the year, especially in the United States. It’s on the Friday after the 4th Thursday of November, so this year, 2019, it’s on Friday, November 29th.

The origin of the name

Even though the tradition of shopping on the day after Thanksgiving has been around for quite a long time, it wasn’t referred to as Black Friday until the latter part of the 20th century. There are a few folk etymologies (origin myths) floating around, but the true origin of this holiday’s name is quite straightforward in the history of Black Friday. 

The truth

Throughout history, in many languages, a black day or dark day, has been used to refer to a day of tragedy, calamity, mourning, danger or difficulty—in essence, something negative. In regards to the post-Thanksgiving shopping day, the name Black Friday was used in the 60’s by police and retailers in Philadelphia. It was generally a chaotic day with a large amount of both foot-traffic and traffic jams on account of so many people out shopping and stores opening early. This resulted in more people working extra shifts and dealing with more problems than usual, hence the negative spin on the name.

The use of Black Friday to refer to that day slowly gained popularity across the U.S. over the following decades, becoming a household name by the 80’s. However, with that recognition came a new, but false, origin myth which is still widely-believed. 

The myth

According to this story, the word Black refers to the phrase in the black. This phrase is commonly used by businesses to refer to a time of profit, as opposed to in the red – a time of financial loss. According to this myth, businesses lose money most of the year, but make it up in the Christmas season, starting on Black Friday. It’s not known whether this folk etymology was started intentionally, but its spread was most certainly assisted by retailers preferring a more positive spin on the origin story.

Now, get some holiday deals

And so, brave shoppers, armed with your newfound knowledge about this day, along with our Black Friday online shopping tips, make your way to the promotion-dealing sites like Amazon, AliExpress, eBay and Booking.com, and get a jump on your holiday shopping. And while you’re at it, get a little something for yourself because, after sitting through a history lesson, you deserve it.

When you know what Black Friday is about, check how much you know yourself. Take the quiz and find out … how you shop! Sales hunter or maybe a fan of one brand? Check what kind of shopper you are.


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