HOLIDAYS | Tomorrow is no regular Friday. It's also MY BIRTHDAY* (Toot-toot! Gargle-gargle-gargle!). But aside from that, this very Friday is also what is referred to as the Black Friday. And as you've probably noticed, there's a lot of buzz going on around Black Friday at the moment - especially if you're an American, I'd guess. But for the rest of the world, this dark and dramatic sounding "holiday" might be a completely unfamiliar territory.

So, what's the deal with all the price-cuts? What's so black about this particular Friday? What does it have to do with Thanksgiving? And why is it on my freaking B-day*?

Extension of Thanksgiving

First of all, Black Friday is the day after the American Thanksgiving, celebrated on the fourth Thursday of the month of November. Which is why it's happening today: the 24th of this month. Thanksgiving is a Christian holiday where the people are to thank God for the blessings given throughout the past year. In the US and Canada, most shops are held closed, apart from occasional restaurants serving Thanksgiving dinner. The Thanksgiving celebrations usually extend over the weekend that follows the actual day (Thursday) of Thanksgiving.

All or none

Black Friday marks the beginning of the Christmas
shopping season for many Americans
While the day of Thanksgiving means being restrained from shopping for an entire day, the day after; Black Friday, is the complete opposite. Black Friday instead marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season, and is the longest and busiest shopping day of the entire year. Major shops usually open at an unearthly hour, often at 4 in the morning or earlier, and close near midnight or later. Most people who aren't working in the retailing industry, even tend get the day off from their bosses, so they can go bargain hunting all day long.

Different meanings of the term "Black Friday"

The term Black Friday originally comes from the heavy, black mass of traffic occurring this busy day. Another explanation of the "black" part of Black Friday, is that this day indicates the point at which retailers begin to turn a profit, or are "in the black".

Black Friday in United Kingdom

Black Friday in Britain
In the UK, at the other hand, Black Friday is not a particularly busy day for shopping. Instead it's traditionally the most popular night for office Christmas parties. As a result, it has gained a reputation as one of the busiest nights of the year for restaurants and public houses. And, as a result, also the emergency services. A lot of drinking involved, supposedly...

Bottom line

So there you have it. Black Friday is the day all US and Canadian citizens go out shopping gifts....for my birthday* ;)

Thanks for reading and happy bargain huntin'!
/theJo

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* = Referring to the Black Friday of 2011
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