Black Friday 2021; Know the history and Significance of the day

In the United States of America, Black Friday is a colloquial term for the Friday following Thanksgiving day on November 26 this year. It traditionally marks the start of the Christmas shopping season in the United States. On this day, many online and offline retailers launch the “Black Friday” sales that offer products at discounted prices to consumers.

History and Significance

Black Friday has been associated with Thanksgiving since the mid-20th century. The day of Thanksgiving has been observed in the United States for over centuries now. The earliest evidence of the phrase Black Friday originated in Philadelphia, dating back to 1961, where it was used by police to describe the heavy pedestrian and vehicular traffic that would occur on the day after Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is a day that has been observed in the US since October 3, 1789, when President George Washington issued a proclamation naming Thursday, November 26, 1789, as an official holiday of “sincere and humble thanks”. President Abraham Lincoln made the traditional Thanksgiving celebration a nationwide holiday in 1863 since when it has been commemorated each year on the fourth Thursday of November.

Black Friday is a sales weekend and 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. 

Although the day was celebrated in the US, later many countries adopted the day and started to spend time for the particular day. Retailers around the world, including India, have now embraced this tradition. 

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The Cambridge Dictionary says, “the Friday after Thanksgiving when shops reduce the price of goods in order to attract customers who want to start their Christmas shopping”. As per estimation, In 2020, more than 100 million shopped online on Black Friday, up from 93.2 million people in 2019. The day has routinely been the busiest shopping day of the year in the United States since 2005.

Black Friday is not an official holiday in the United States, but California and some other states observe “The Day After Thanksgiving” as a holiday for state government employees. In India, Black Friday is not widely celebrated as its shopping seasons are different.