When Santa and his sleigh cross Herald Square at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, it symbolically marks the beginning of the Holiday season. But some people argue that the real beginning of the holiday season starts with the somewhat infamous Black Friday.
Black Friday refers to the day after Thanksgiving when retailers across the nation have huge discounts on popular items. Hoards of people line up outside the mall and retail stores looking to get the best sale out there. Some argue it’s just as popular as Thanksgiving. Typically stores open their doors 4am on Friday morning but some are now opening their stores as early as midnight!
This tradition of wooing customers on the Friday after Thanksgiving started back as early as the 1900s. Originally Thanksgiving was celebrated as the last Thursday in November. Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1941 changed Thanksgiving to the fourth Thursday in November to ensure an extra week of shopping for consumers during the Great Depression.
But why is it called Black Friday? There are two theories as to how the day got it’s moniker. The first is that retailers made most of their profit that day and were “in the black.” The other theory stems from Philadelphia. Black Friday is the day in between Thanksgiving Thursday and US Navy vs. Army Football Saturday. In Philadelphia the streets were crowded and there was a huge need for an influx of police and security. Over time the day was referred to as Black Friday.
Black Friday is considered to be one of the biggest shopping days of the year. One of the main products that people try to obtain are heavily discounted electronic items such as plasma TVs, home theatre systems, stereos and speakers. Others go for health and beauty items such as ceramic hair straighteners, curling irons and ionic blow dryers.
But in reality, the most popular items on Black Friday have been and most likely will be toys. Toy manufactures don’t release toys until Black Friday. Parents of young children are determined to get the latest and greatest toy for their kids. In the 1980s it was Cabbage Kids, in the 1990s it was Tickle Me Elmo and currently it can be anything from a new Thomas The Tank Engine toy to the new My Little Pony card to the recently announced new Big Hugs Elmo.
Whatever you are shopping for this holiday season, the sales on Black Friday are sure to attract you to the store. But in the past few years more and more violence has been happening with the opening of stores. Please be careful and stay safe if you plan on shopping this Black Friday.