Is Black Friday really black?

Read more about Black Friday

by | Aug 8, 2019 | Reading

Do you think Black Friday is a dark day to commemorate a sad event in the past? To find out the truth, let’s read this short summary, but we have added an IELTS flavor to it. Read the summary and see if you can fill in the gaps. Then, go to the website and check your answers.

Questions 1 – 4

Complete the summary below


Choose ONE WORD AND/OR A NUMBER from the passage for each answer.

Black Friday

Black Friday is the Friday which comes immediately after 1 ___________ in the United States. This day has been seen as the official beginning of the Christmas holiday season. Black Fridays are not federal 2 __________. Certain states, however, observe this day instead of Columbus Day for employees of the state government. The term began in 3 __________ which was somewhere either during or after World War II, though was not popular outside of Philadelphia until around 1975. The word black refers to the stores’ ink which was changed to black to represent a 4 ____________. Stores usually open around 6am or later. Certain stores, though, started opening at 4am and 5am in the late 2000s.

The Passage:

For millions of people Black Friday is the time to do some serious Christmas shopping –even before the last of the Thanksgiving leftovers are gone! Black Black is the Friday after Thanksgiving, and it’s one of the major shopping days of the year in the United States -falling anywhere between November 23 and 29. While it’s not recognized as an official US holiday, many employees have the day off -except those working in retail.

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

In the 1960’s, police in Philadelphia griped about the congested streets, clogged with motorists and pedestrians, calling it “Black Friday.” In a non-retail sense, it also describes a financial crisis of 1869: a stock market catastrophe set off by gold spectators who tried and failed to corner the gold market, causing the market to collapse and stocks to plummet.



1- Thanksgiving

2- holidays

3- the 1960s

4- profit

About the Author

About the Author

CEO and Co-founder of Juice Academy

Mehdi Safavi is a Cambridge certified English teacher (CELTA Grade A), IDP-trained IELTS expert, Sussex Downs College TESOL with 17+ years of teaching & teacher training experience. More about him →


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