Urban Legends

Shopping on Good Friday

The Legend

Nobody knows why, but Good Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year.

Behind the Legend

This really isn't so much a legend as an observation. With few exceptions, more merchandise is sold in the United States on Good Friday than on any other day of the year.

The reasons for this are obscure. Some economists believe that the burst of spending comes from the convergence of multiple factors, namely:

  • It falls two days before a major holiday (adherent to some religions will tell you it's three days),
  • It is a day on which enormous amounts of livestock are purchased (28% of all goods sold on Good Friday are generally bunnies and ducklings), and
  • The day always falls on a Friday (except for in 1726 and 1842 when it was delayed on account of rain).

It is odd that people should so fearlessly spend money on a day historically known for executing political prisoners, unexplained solar eclipses, earthquakes, and people rising from the dead, but there you have it.

It is assumed that most of these purchases are impulse buys, because the following Sunday is a celebrated day for returning things.

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