What is “Black Friday?”

Are you familiar with “Black Friday?”

It is a term used to describe the biggest shopping day of the year in the United States.

So why is it called “Black Friday?” Find out here–>

Why is it called “Black Friday?”

The name “Black Friday” comes from simple accounting terminology. “Red” is often used to describe when a company has gone into deficit. “Black” is used to describe when a company has made a profit. Since this is the biggest shopping day of the year, many companies finally “get into the black” or start to make a profit for the year on this day.

 Why is this the biggest shopping day of the year?

It starts with Thanksgiving Day; the American holiday in which we celebrate and show our appreciation for good harvests and anything else you are grateful for. Since most regular working people have a day off on Thanksgiving day (which is a national holiday always on the fourth Thursday of November), they often stay at home with their families and enjoy a nice traditional turkey dinner. All of the stores and shopping malls are closed.

Most companies and organizations give their employees the day after Thanksgiving (always Friday) off as well, therefore creating a 4-day weekend. Since that Friday is NOT a national holiday, everyone who is not working has some extra free time. All of the stores and malls know this and hold BIG sales to attract people to shop. “Black Friday” has gotten so popular (or should I say crazy!) that some stores open early in the morning, like 5 or 6am!

The other reason why this day is so popular to shop is that Christmas is coming soon! This is the biggest holiday of the year and many people exchange gifts. Therefore, many people want to start their “Christmas shopping” early to prepare for Christmas Day.

So, you might hear about “Black Friday” on the news in the next few days. If you do, now you know what it’s all about!

Discussion Questions:
#1. Is there a day similar to “Black Friday” in your country?
#2. What are the Christmas traditions like in your country?

Please let me know in the Comments section below!

Vocabulary for Study:

  • to be familiar with
  • terminology
  • deficit
  • profit
  • harvest
  • 4-day weekend
  • to attract
  • Christmas shopping


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4 Responses to What is “Black Friday?”

  1. samantha at #

    Hi, I’m Samantha from Mexico. I have just read this post and of course I’ve heard about “Black Friday”. Well, last year was the first time I heard about “Black Friday” because the president of Mexico established a Friday in November as a day when stores offer discounts on certain products specially in appliances and a lot of people started comparing it to “Black Friday”. I live in the north of Mexico and many people from the north of Mexico go to the U.S. at this time in order to start their Christmas shopping and take advantage of the discounts. Here in Mexico they called it “El Buen Fin” and in spite of in the U.S. offer more discounts I think in Mexico worked because many people like me don’t have a visa to enter to the U.S. and furthermore helped to encourage domestic consumption.

    • ALsensei at #

      Hi Samantha,

      Thank you for your thoughts!

      I had no idea that a similar idea to “Black Friday” existed in Mexico! That’s so interesting! I wonder if it indeed was intended to be like the American “Black Friday.”

      Is Christmas celebrated the same way in Mexico as it is in America? Are there any unique traditions or customs in Mexico regarding Christmas and/or New Year’s? I’d love to hear what you have to say!

      Anyway, thank you again for sharing your ideas! I visited Mexico once just across the border from South Padre Island, Texas but I’m sure it was not a good indication of authentic Mexico. I’d love to go back and visit the “real” Mexico someday!

      Take care,


      • samantha at #

        Hi Al

        I’m not sure about how American people celebrate Christmas, I have some relatives living there and I’ve heard they make a dinner with some friends and exchange gifts on Christmas Eve. I know in the U.S. they put up Christmas trees and decorate their houses with electric lights and figures of Santa Claus and we in Mexico do the same thing.
        In Mexico it’s so common to break “pinatas” before dinner and thundering fireworks and light candles or flares while we pray and sing Christmas carols. It’s common to exchange gifts too.
        You should come to other places in Mexico like the beaches like Cancun or Puerto Vallarta or other cities I just think some border cities are a little Americanized especially those below but they still have a part of Mexico anyway.

        Best regards


        • ALsensei at #

          Hi Samantha,

          Yes, you are exactly right about the American Christmas traditions. It sounds like a very fun and joyous time in Mexico too!

          I hope to visit Mexico again someday but I’m not sure when. Those places sound beautiful and I can’t wait to visit!

          Thanks again for sharing your comments!

          Best regards,