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American Thanksgiving is here and, for millions of families, the day is steeped in old-fashioned values: quality family time, turkey dinner, football on the television, and eventually passing out on the couch .

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But once out of their turkey-induced stupor, people will put on their true game faces and strategize: how to nab the best deals on Black Friday, the busiest shopping day in the American retail calendar. In fact, more than 152 million people already have some part of their brain working on the task.

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There is no denying this, but what was once an exclusively post-Thanksgiving day affair – a Friday event – is now taking place both on Thursday and Friday. About 1,000 Gap stores will be open on Thanksgiving, Wal-Mart stores open at 10 p.m., and a number of retailers like Target, Best Buy and Macy’s open at midnight. In fact, there are already people in tents right now across America. No, those aren’t Occupy encampments – they’re the Black Thursday shoppers lining up outside retail stores.

Black Friday is one of the busiest shopping days in the USA. There are two popular theories as to why the day after Thanksgiving Day is called Black Friday. One theory is that the wheels of vehicles in heavy traffic on the day after Thanksgiving Day left many black markings on the road surface, leading to the term Black Friday.

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The other theory is that the term Black Friday comes from an old way of recording business accounts. Losses were recorded in red ink and profits in black ink. Many businesses, particularly small businesses, started making profits prior to Christmas. Many hoped to start showing a profit, marked in black ink, on the day after Thanksgiving Day.

On your mark, Get set, Shop! The Best Things To Buy On Black Friday

What Is Black Friday?  was originally published on