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The Origins of Black Friday

by Marie-Sarah Published on November 27, 2015

Today is Black Friday, a day when the term “consumer society” takes on real meaning, especially for our neighbours to the south. In the United States, the day after Thanksgiving is reserved for serious bargain hunting in just about every store in the country, a tradition that has even spread to Canada and other countries in recent years.

As for where Black Friday gets its name, there are many theories but none has ever been proven. One theory often propagated over the Internet is that the term refers to the fact that slave owners would use the day after Thanksgiving to sell Black slaves, but that claim has been disproven because the term Black Friday didn't originate until nearly a century after the practice of slavery was abolished in the U.S.

Black Friday likely got its name for two reasons. We know it was first used in the early 60s in Philadelphia to describe the heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic that would occur on the day after Thanksgiving, the first day of the Christmas shopping season. The name may also have caught on because of the lucrative profits made by retailers on this day. In the retail business, sales are usually lean but Black Friday marks the start of the season when stores can finally get out of the “red” and into the “black”.

Whatever the origins of the English term, the French term, Vendredi fou (“Crazy Friday”) definitely refers to all the madness seen on the streets and in stores on this day. The huge sales attract so many people to big box stores that accidents are commonplace and shoppers literally fight each other over items. Since 2006, 7 deaths and 98 injuries have occurred on Black Friday. Let’s just hope those numbers don’t rise today!

How about you? Will you give into Black Friday madness? If so, a better idea may be to stay home and take advantage of all the online deals to avoid getting stomped on!


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by Marie-Sarah
Jouez et gagnez une eau de parfum La vie est Belle !
J'en profite !

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