By: Vivian S
As the great day of destroying and devouring a turkey approached, so did another holiday that I feared much more. Black Friday is came on November 29th.
I remember as a child hating Black Friday, when my mom would drag me around the overcrowded stores for hours. I still do hold a distaste for it, but it also intrigues me.
Why do we have a holiday for a day that is just stores selling all their items on sale? The day after Christmas isn’t a public holiday of this much renown. So why does Black Friday exist?
My research for this immediately became complicated with all the different origin stories I was inundated with.
I first found a History.com article that listed 4 different origins of Black Friday, though only one was listed as the “true” beginning of the holiday. The holiday apparently comes from Philadelphia, “Black Friday” being a term the police would use to describe the chaos of the day after Thanksgiving, when everyone would go out shopping in advance of the Army-Navy football game. None of the cops were allowed to take the day off, they would have to work extended shifts, and shoplifters would take this opportunity to do as shoplifters do.
The term eventually spread, and retailers found a way to spin it in a positive light for them with all the sales.
However, the term Black Friday wasn’t even used in the beginning to describe the holiday. Instead, it was first used to describe the collapse of the gold market in the 1800s because two stock-brokers tried to make themselves rich and it didn’t work.
The article listed other stories of how Black Friday originated, but says the one I repeated above was the correct one.
Yet, that still didn’t answer to me why Black Friday is such a popular holiday.
Wikipedia says that Black Friday marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season, and that many employees are given the day off as part of Thanksgiving, which could be reasons for its popularity.
In the end, I don’t think the endurance of Black Friday will ever make sense to me, and I will just have to live with it, and the shopping my mom will drag me around for.