The history, origins and hoaxes on Black Friday
On November 27th will fall the annual anniversary of Black Friday, the “black Friday” dedicated to discounts and promotions that kicks off Christmas shopping. Over time, stories and legends have arisen around this tradition, some of which have since been branded as false. What, then, is the true origin of the Black Friday? Where and how was it born?
What is Black Friday?
The first Friday after Thanksgiving it is nicknamed in the United States Black Friday. On this day the big chains offer exceptional discounts and promotions (think that the discounts can even reach 80-90%, especially online) in order to increase your sales. For this reason, among the people who shop on Black Friday, a good part spends the night waiting outside the store where they want to shop, waiting for the doors to open.
Black Friday is followed by the Cyber Monday, which falls on the following Monday and which, as the name suggests, is characterized by large discounts relating to electronic products. In recent years, this tradition has also spread from the United States to other parts of the world, reaching as far as Italy. Usually, discounts and purchases are encouraged on this day, especially for those who buy online.
The origins of the name
As we anticipated, Black Friday is the informal name which is used to indicate the Friday following Thanksgiving in the United States, which is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November. Many attribute the birth of the event to the Macy’s department store initiative. In 1924, in fact, they organized a day of discounts immediately after thanksgiving, attracting a crowd of people and starting the Christmas shopping season.
However, even if already at the time the day after Thanksgiving was associated with discounts and unbridled shoppingthe term “Black Friday” was not used until more recently, around the 80s. Of course the word was born in the USAbut there are some schools of thought that explain in different ways the origin of the name: let’s see them together.
Was “Black Friday” born in Philadelphia?
Some trace back the origin of the term Black Friday to a saying born in Philadelphia. In fact, it seems that in that city, as presumably in many other US cities, on Black Friday traffic goes haywire and crowds gather on every corner of the street. The air becomes unbreathable and, especially in the past, when the exhaust gases were much more harmful, smog was everywhere. However this is not the most widespread theory, although nevertheless never denied.
The most accredited theory: this is how Black Friday was born
For the second school of thought, which is also the most likely one, the origin of Black Friday is to be attributed to the cash registers and to store books. If you are wondering how, do not worry, we will explain it to you right away!
In the past, when computers did not exist yet, traders used to record the entries and exits by hand. For the figures at a loss, they used red ink, while for black ink earnings. Usually, from the day after Thanksgiving and as Christmas approaches, the registers were constantly starting to “color” themselves black: hence the term Black Friday.
Hoaxes and fake news
Despite the spread of this explanation, over the years fake news and hoaxes about the origin of the term Black Friday.
One of these rumors has it that the term “Black Friday” originated from the fact that most of the factory employees they gave themselves sick in order to take advantage of the discounts. This theory is not very credible, not only because it has no confirmation in reality. Indeed, it is unlikely that at that time, when workers’ rights were far less respected and earnings significantly lowersomeone would take the luxury of getting sick and losing a day’s pay.
Another widespread hoax concerns the slave trade. Some time ago, in fact, in Italy a theory as bizarre as it was famous began to circulate on Facebook. The post stated that the “Black Friday was the day when black slaves they were displayed in public places to be sold at very low prices “. According to the theory, buyers came in large numbers for buy as many slaves as possible for their plantations or as servants. The slave traders had to liquidate the remainder in order to immediately leave for Africa and capture new slaves. This fake news it recurs cyclically every year when Black Friday approaches: so be careful not to fall into the trap!
Black Friday in the world: where is it used and where not?
We therefore know that Black Friday was born in the United States. But in which countries, besides Italy, is it widespread? Thanks above all to the internet and to Amazon (which this year even anticipated it), Black Friday is now known worldwidealbeit with less emphasis than in the United States, where many companies give employees a day off to allow them to take advantage of the offers and where unpleasant news stories occur every year related to the large influx and quarrels occurring in the centers commercial.