When is Black Friday and what are its origins?

Black Friday falls on   November 25 this year, although many retailers extend discounts for up to a month  (Black Friday)
Black Friday falls on November 25 this year, although many retailers extend discounts for up to a month (Black Friday)

Every year on Black Friday millions of people across the globe shop until they drop, making use of the special discounts.

Many use it as an opportunity to get the big ticket items that they have had their eyes on for a while.

And, with the cost of living crisis, rising interest rates and inflation putting pressure on our pockets, the discounts are sure to be welcomed with open arms.

But, when exactly is Black Friday and how did it get started?

When is Black Friday?

Black Friday used to be a one-day event, but given its immense popularity retailers have now made it a weekend event, with some brands taking it one step further and offering a month of deals.

Traditionally, Black Friday takes place the day after Thanksgiving, which is celebrated on the last Thursday of November. Given that Thanksgiving falls on November 24 this year, shoppers can expect Black Friday to kick off on November 25.

Most brands will keep their sales going over the weekend and end the discount window the Monday after, often referred to as Cyber Monday, when shops often offer online-exclusive discounts.

A possible exception to the rule will be Amazon, as the brand is known to hold month-long Black Friday discounts.

Black Friday takes place the day after Thanksgiving (AP)
Black Friday takes place the day after Thanksgiving (AP)

What are the origins of Black Friday?

Traditionally, Black Friday marks the end of the Thanksgiving season and the start of the Christmas period for shoppers and retailers in the United States.

The earliest known use of calling the day after Thanksgiving “Black Friday” was in 1951, when a magazine used the terms while talking about how workers showed a trend of taking that Friday off sick to have a long weekend with their families.

Black Friday as we know it was slowly established and in the 1980s it became the name everyone used to describe the busiest shopping day of the year in America.

Many retailers who would struggle to make ends meet would turn over a profit during the holiday season between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Some think the name Black Friday came from a common accounting practice that sees losses written with red ink and gains noted in black ink.

In recent decades, the American discount tradition has spread across the globe.

In the UK, Boxing Day used to be considered the biggest shopping day of the year until the 2010s when Black Friday came into action in the country.

At first, it was the American-owned retailers such as Amazon and Walmart’s Asda that offered the special discount window.

Then, British retailers started joining in, making it a yearly tradition for Brits, too.

In Wales, Black Friday is known as “Dydd Gwener y Gwario Gwirion” which means “Silly Spending Friday”.