Happy Thanskgiving and the history of Black Friday

Celebrated in the United States and Canada, Thanksgiving is the national holiday which is distinguished as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. In Canada, Thanksgiving takes place on the second Monday of October and the fourth Thursday in November, in the United States 

The event that Americans commonly call the "First Thanksgiving" was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World in 1621. This feast lasted three days and was attended by 90 Native Americans and 53 Pilgrims. 

Thanksgiving is commonly thought of as the beginning of the holiday season, especially as it is followed by one of the biggest seasonal shopping days of the year – Black Friday. For millions of people all around the world, Black Friday is the time to do some serious Christmas shopping. Falling anywhere between November 23 and 29, Black Friday takes place the Friday after Thanksgiving, and is one of the biggest shopping days of the year in both the UK and United States . While it's not recognized as an official holiday, many employees in the have the day off - except those working in retail.

The term “Black Friday” originates from back in the 1960s to mark the start of the Christmas shopping season. “Black” refers to stores moving from the “red” to the “black,” many years ago when accounting records were kept by hand, red ink indicated a loss, and black a profit. Ever since the start the famous Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1924, the Friday after Thanksgiving has been known as the unofficial start to a lively holiday shopping season.

Why did it become so popular?

As retailers began to realize they could grab the attention of big crowds by discounting prices, Black Friday became even better than those last minute Christmas sales. Some retailers put their items up for sale on the morning of Thanksgiving, and even email customers days or weeks before the much anticipated day. Prices are slashed on all items from home furnishings to apparel, and electrical items to toys.

Black Friday is a long day in retail, with many retailers opening at 5am or even earlier to manage the large amount of customers waiting anxiously outside the windows. Most large retailers post their Black Friday offers online beforehand to give customers time to plan their purchases. Other companies take a different approach, waiting until the last possible moment to release their Black Friday offers, hoping to create a buzz and keep customers eagerly checking back for an announcement.

With online shopping slowly taking over retail, more and more, consumers are choosing to find their bargains from the comfort of their own home, instead of battling with other customers over the last most-wanted item. It is often seen that quite a few shoppers leave the store empty handed, having not found that one item they want. The benefit of online shopping is that you will know right away if your most-wanted item is out of stock, and can find another one without having to travel from store to store. 

Many online retailers host a pre-Black Friday or special Thanksgiving sale, so you may not even have to wait until the big day to save. So, there you have it - the Black Friday history behind the best shopping day of the year!

But most importantly...