Friday, November 23, 2007

Black Friday


In the United States, the term Black Friday refers to the day after Thanksgiving. Since Thanksgiving falls on the fourth Thursday in November in the United States, Black Friday may be as early as the 23rd and as late as the 29th day of November.

Although Black Friday, as the first shopping day after Thanksgiving, has served as the unofficial beginning of the Christmas season at least since the start of the modern "Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade" in 1924, the term and derivation of Black Friday has been traced back only to the 1970s. The day was originally so named because of the heavy traffic on that day, when all one could see was massive amounts of shoppers in stores, and cars on highways. Although most contemporary uses of the term refer instead to it as the beginning of the period in which retailers are "in the black "(i.e., turning a profit) as opposed to "in the red", when they are not.

The earliest meaning of the term Black Friday was also meant to be an implicit comparison to the extremely stressful and chaotic experience of Black Tuesday, the 1929 stock-market crash, or other chaotic days. The earliest known references to Black Friday (in this sense) are from two newspaper articles from November 29, 1975, that explicitly refer to the day's hectic nature and heavy traffic.

Cyber Monday
The term Cyber Monday, is a neologism ( a term created to apply to a new concept not previously recognized by the dictionary as an actual word) invented by the National Retail Federation's Shop.org division. It refers to the Monday immediately following Black Friday, which unofficially marks the beginning of the Christmas online shopping season.

In recent years, Cyber Monday has become a busy day for online retailers, with some sites offering low prices and other promotions on that day. Like Black Friday, Cyber Monday is often
said to be the busiest shopping day of the year for online shoppers, although in reality several days later in the holiday shopping season are busier.

Buy Nothing Day
Buy Nothing Day was originally organized by Adbusters magazine, intentionally as a counter-action to Black Friday. Originally organized in September of 1992, the date was formally moved in 1997, to the Friday, following one week after Thanksgiving. Outside of North America, Buy Nothing Day is celebrated on the following Saturday. It is considered a day of passive, non-materialistic, non-consumerism. Occasional discussion has pointed out that, because of the anti-action of the event, it is very easy for people who are avoiding shopping on this day to "observe" the protest.

shown above:
"Fill the Bag (for others)": my answer to Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Do Nothing Day
Fill a bag with canned and boxed foods and donate it to a food bank near you

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Michele Bilyeu blogs "With Heart and Hands" as she journeys between Douglas, Alaska and Salem, Oregon.