If you have spent even a minute online in the last few weeks, you would most likely have seen something to do with ‘Black Friday’. Some confusion might arise as the day seems to be used in the context of all sorts of seemingly unrelated things; from computers to cars, from burgers to boats, from travel to technology. So what exactly is this mystery day?

Black Friday originated in the United States in the early 1930s and is the day after Thanksgiving, which is the fourth Thursday of November. It is known as one of busiest shopping days of the year and the official start of the Christmas season.  Many retailers offer ridiculous deals that cause disturbing behaviour in shoppers. Some places will open early in the morning and shoppers are known to camp out in front of stores to ensure that they are first in line when the doors open. The same sort of behaviour can be seen online, where shoppers are poised and ready to click on a crazy deal, hours before ‘opening’ time.

As with many other American traditions, Black Friday has spread to other parts of the world. This is through representation on television, web and film and because many retailers are now represented in other countries as well. And there is no denying the global obsession with spending money and shopping. Retailers are able to move large amounts of stocks and shoppers are able to buy really good deals. Everybody wins!

Just a word of warning: it might be safest to claim Black Friday deals online. In the United States alone, there have been a number of deaths and almost 100 injuries caused by the shopping mayhem caused by a really good Black Friday deal. If you do intend to brave this day, I would suggest protective clothing and a patient, yet determined attitude. Happy shopping!