Written by Nandini Sethi
The Friday following Thanksgiving is popularly known as Black Friday.
But the term ‘Black Friday’ has a pretty dark history.
Originally, the term wasn’t what it means today- shopping and sales- rather it refers to the crash of the US gold market, the creation of two conspiracists in 1869, Jay Gould and Jim Fisk.
But it was in the 1980’s that the Black Friday we have come to know today originated.
The chaos and bustle that ensued the day after Thanksgiving was a hassle for the police in Philadelphia, considering the seemingly unending trickle of tourists and residents who gathered in the city for the famous football game the next day. This is what they knew as Black Friday- confusion and mayhem.
In 1985, retailers found a way to reinvent the whole concept, and associated the day with a positive connotation rather than what it was so notorious for- a crowd of aimless people. They switched the darkness of ‘black’ to the light and vibrancy of ‘red’- making it the first official day of Christmas shopping.
With extraordinary deals and discounts, Americans were able to turn the tables and make something productive and profitable out of a day that was rooted in a dark history.
Since then, this one day event has evolved into a four-day festival; people even call it the “retail holidays” now!
The concept of Black Friday has found its way to India now, where almost every store is offering extraordinary deals and offers, making us question ourselves- “how can I miss this sale?!” But before we do indulge in these sales, let’s educate ourselves about what we’re getting ourselves into- as individuals and as a country!