So, what is Black Friday?

So many American emails are currently trying to flog me things on Black Friday!!! But what is Black Friday?

I had to look it up on wikipedia:

Black Friday is the name given to the day following Thanksgiving Day in the United States, traditionally the beginning of the Christmas shopping season.

On this day, most major retailers open extremely early and offer promotional sales to kick off the holiday shopping season, similar to Boxing Day sales in many Commonwealth Nations.

Black Friday is not an official holiday, but many non-retail employers also observe this day as a holiday along with Thanksgiving, giving their employees the day off, thereby increasing the number of potential shoppers.

An explanation… “Black Friday” indicates the point at which retailers begin to turn a profit, or are “in the black”.