What is Black Friday? When is Black Friday?

Black Friday is the Friday following Thanksgiving Day in the United States.

Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping days of the year, when brick and mortar stores offer some of their steepest markdowns. Black Friday falls on the Friday after Thanksgiving, while the online shopping equivalent, Cyber Monday, falls on that Monday. Black Friday will be on Friday, November 24th 2017, and Cyber Monday will be Monday, November 27th 2017.

Future Black Friday Dates

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Why do we have Black Friday? What year did it start?

The day after Thanksgiving has been the beginning of the holiday shopping season since the 19th century. Parades held on Thanksgiving concluded with the appearance of Santa Claus to signify that Christmas was coming. Stores would not advertise for Christmas shopping until after the Thanksgiving Day parade appearance of Santa Claus, thus making the Friday after Thanksgiving Day the official start of the holiday shopping season. In the 1930s, Franklin Roosevelt changed the official Thanksgiving date from the last Thursday in November to the fourth Thursday. This was to make sure the holiday shopping season would start a week earlier during the years when November had five Thursdays, and stores would not need to break tradition by advertising before Thanksgiving Day. Consequently, this meant that the start of the holiday shopping season would always fall on a Friday in November.

While the day after Thanksgiving Day has been the start of the holiday shopping season for many years, the day was not called "Black Friday" until around 1961 when the term originated in Philadelphia.

Why is Black Friday Called Black Friday?

There is speculation as to why Black Friday is called Black Friday. Traditionally, putting "Black" before a day of the week describes that day as an unforgettable and chaotic event. "Black Friday" creates this imagery reflected by the vast amount of shoppers and traffic, which were the conditions in Philadelphia where the term originated. Black Friday could also be named as such because the retail industry operates "in the red" (at a loss) throughout the year, but then operates "in the black" (at a profit) starting on Black Friday.

Where to Find Black Friday Deals & Compare Black Friday Ads?

Almost every retailer will release a Black Friday ad in the newspaper or a press release prior to Black Friday. These ads can be several pages long. Some retailers wait until the week of Black Friday to release their advertisements. BlackFriday.fm will obtain dozens of leaked ads weeks before Black Friday to give shoppers time to compare prices and search for the best deals. It's important to decide which sales to shop first because of limited time doorbuster deals that can last as little as one hour and stock is often limited to shoppers who wait in line before the store opens.

What is an Easy Way to Remember When Black Friday Occurs?

Thanksgiving Day is always on the fourth Thursday in November, and Black Friday is always the Friday after Thanksgiving Day. This means that Black Friday is almost always the last Friday in November.