Black Friday’s Dark Past

When is Black Friday and what does it entail?

In the United States, the term “Black Friday” refers to the Friday following Thanksgiving, which is widely considered the beginning day of the holiday shopping season and is known for retailer discounts. Black Friday in 2022 will be on November 25.

The origin

Black has always been associated with tough economic times rather than times of tremendous business success. After railroad entrepreneur James Fisk and banker Jay Gould sought to dominate the gold market in 1869, a financial panic ensued, leading to the market’s collapse and the first Black Friday.

The original etymology of the term “Black Friday” comes from the concept of black as “marked by calamity or misfortune,” which occurred after Thanksgiving. The term “Black Friday” was first used by manufacturing managers in the 1950s since so many of their employees chose to feign illness in order to extend the holiday weekend.

About ten years later, Philadelphia traffic officers began referring to the day following Thanksgiving as Black Friday because they were required to serve 12-hour shifts in horrendous traffic. Holiday shoppers rushed to the city in droves, and occasionally this busy shopping day fell on the same day as the traditional Army-Navy football game. Philadelphia’s shoppers and business owners started using the phrase, and it quickly spread across the country.

The 1980s introduced the Black Friday mythology as it is known today. The mythology of Black Friday in its modern form was initially popularised in the 1980s. The term Black Friday is believed to have derived from the business phrases “in the black” and “in the red” to denote profits and losses.

Black Friday originated in the US, where it is renowned for being one of the busiest shopping days ever, when families began their annual Christmas shopping for gifts. Retailers, however, are taking advantage of this opportunity to entice more people to throng to their stores, and the trend has expanded to Malaysia and other countries as well.