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Black Friday 2021: What is Black Friday? The real history and significance explained

Black Friday 2021: Here's all you need to know about the real history and significance of Black Friday. 
Black Friday 2021: What is Black Friday? The real history and significance explained(Shutterstock)
Updated on Nov 26, 2021 10:44 AM IST
ByKrishna Priya Pallavi, Delhi

Black Friday 2021: A colloquial term for the Friday following Thanksgiving, Black Friday will be observed in the United States of America on November 26 this year. On this day, many offline and online stores offer their products at high discounts to customers. Often, stores open very early, sometimes as early as midnight or even on Thanksgiving to start their Black Friday sale.

What is Black Friday?

Black Friday is a sales weekend after Thanksgiving day that is associated with post-Thanksgiving and pre-Christmas shopping. People get attractive discounts at stores all over America during this time. However, the tradition has now been adopted by retailers all over the world, including India.


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Black Friday Significance and History

Thanksgiving has been observed in the United States for over centuries now. It came to be celebrated annually on the fourth Thursday of November every year after Franklin D Roosevelt issued a proclamation in 1942. However, Black Friday came to be associated with Thanksgiving only around the middle of the 20th century.

Black Friday is believed to symbolise the US gold market crash of 1869. It was the day plummeting gold prices caused a market crash, the effects of which were felt by the US economy for years.

Alternatively, it is also believed that the term Black Friday originated in the US, specifically in Philadelphia, in the 1960s. The Philadelphia Police Department had complained about the Friday following Thanksgiving Day when the streets were congested and clogged with traffic. They called it "Black Friday". 

The Oxford University Press's blog, on the other hand, says that researchers at Oxford English Dictionary found that the term first appeared in 1610. It had nothing to do with sales or Thanksgiving. Rather any Friday on which an exam fell was called Black Friday.

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According to Oxford University Press, celebrating Black Friday as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season started in 1961. Furthermore, the iconic Thanksgiving Day Parade by the US department store Macy's strengthened the association between the Friday after Thanksgiving and the commencement of the shopping season.

Though revellers during holiday season look forward to the Black Friday sale to begin their festive shopping, critics blame the day for promoting overconsumption.

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