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In a few short years Black Friday has snowballed into one of the topshop nation's biggest sales bonanzas of the year.

If last year is anything to go by, crazed shoppers will trading in long queues and scraps over cut price TVs and toys, in favor of browsing online from home during the early hours to snap up a bargain.

In the US, Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, when turkey-stuffed customers take advantage of the holiday to do some some shopping.

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Thanks to American retailers like Amazon and Wal-Mart owned Asda, the shopping-fest has now spread across the pond - and around the world.

But why do we call this pre-Christmas scramble for bargains Black Friday?

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The PR stunt

In the 1980s, the term “Black Friday” began to be used by retailers to refer to the single day of the year when retail companies finally go “into the black” (make a profit) after being "in the red" for much of the year.

But that's not the only theory behind the name.

Rumours have also circulated that the term came from an invented tradition to sell slaves the day after Thanksgiving, while others think its original could be much more recent.

Black Friday Term Origin, Retailers Feared It Would Scare Shoppers Away
Origin: Black Friday could have come from the traffic jams that clogged Philadelphia after Thanksgiving

Traffic trouble

According to Joseph P. Barrett, who was police reporter for the Philadelphia Bulletin, the term "Black Friday" came out of the old Philadelphia Police Department's traffic squad.

In an article from 1994, the late journalist wrote that the cops used the term to describe the horrible traffic jams that happened when people poured into town on the Friday after Thanksgiving.

He wrote: "It was the day that Santa Claus took his chair in the department stores and every kid in the city wanted to see him. It was the first day of the Christmas shopping season. Schools were closed. Late in the day, out-of-town visitors began arriving for the Army-Navy football game.

Daily Mirror Front Page Published Saturday 19th November 1910
Another Black Friday: Police and Suffragettes clashed on what was known as 'Black Friday' in 1910 (Image: Mirrorpix)

"Every 'Black Friday', no traffic policeman was permitted to take the day off. The division was placed on 12 tours of duty, and even the police band was ordered to Center City."

"Today the term seems lost in antiquity, but it was a traffic cop who started it, the guy who directed traffic with a semaphore while standing on a small wooden platform, in the days before traffic lights."

In the early 1960s, Barrett put together a front-page story for Thanksgiving and appropriated the police term "Black Friday" to describe the terrible traffic conditions.

The name stuck and began spreading across the US, and then the globe.

Other uses around the world

Black Friday has also been used historically to refer to any awful event that happens on that day.

The first recorded use of Black Friday was applied not to holiday shopping but to the crash of the U.S. gold market on September 24, 1869, caused by two unscrupulous criminals.

Two ruthless Wall Street financiers, Jay Gould and Jim Fisk, worked together to buy up as much as they could of the nation’s gold, to drive the price sky-high and sell it for huge profits.

But on that Friday, the conspiracy collapsed and the market went into free fall and bankrupted everyone from Wall Street bankers to farmers.

Illustration depicts James Fisk Jr (left) and Jay Gould (center)
Conspiracy: James Fisk Jr (left) and Jay Gould (centre) built people's fortunes - but lost it all (Image: Getty)

Another Black Friday, January 31 1919, refers to the Battle of George Square in Glasgow - one of the most intense riots in the city's history.

The dispute revolved around a campaign for shorter working hours, backed by widespread strike action.

Dozens were injured, and as a result the working day was shortened.

24th September 1869: Panic on 'Black Friday' in the New York Gold Room
24th September 1869: Panic on 'Black Friday' in the New York Gold Room (Image: Getty)

It has also been used to refer to bad days of battle in the Second World War, devastating Australian bush fires and a peaceful protest in Malé, the capital of the Maldives, which saw police firing teargas on protestors.

More famously, it was the day in November 1910 when hundreds of suffragettes marched on Parliament in peaceful protest and were assaulted and arrested by police.

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Black Friday 2016 weekend Deals

  • A shop on Oxford street prepares for Black Friday
    Best Black Friday Deals
  • topshop temporary scar tattoos
  • Amazon
  • Argos Store
    Argos
  • Currys and PC World Mansfield 2in1 Megastore
    Currys PC World
  • Tesco Superstore in Hackney
    Tesco
  • John Lewis Christmas with Lewis McGowan (Pic:JohnLewis)
    John Lewis
  • boots logo
    Boots
  • Sainsbury's logo
    Sainsbury's
  • Debenhams
  • eBay
  • Howells Department store, part of the House of Fraser chain, Cardiff
    House of Fraser
  • Westfield Bradford
    River Island
  • Topshop
    Topshop
  • ASOS
  • New Look
  • Very
  • Marks and Spencer
    Marks and Spencer
  • GAME
  • Morrisons
  • The Body Shop

Источник: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/why-black-friday-called-history-6905688


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