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Black Friday vs. Good Friday: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on February 14, 2024
Black Friday is a commercial shopping day following Thanksgiving, marked by significant discounts. Good Friday is a Christian holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

Key Differences

Black Friday originates from a commercial context, typically marking the start of the holiday shopping season in the United States with sales and promotions. In contrast, Good Friday has religious origins, recognized by Christians globally as a solemn day remembering Jesus Christ's crucifixion and his death at Calvary.
The term Black Friday was first used to describe a financial crisis in 1869. Over time, it evolved to signify a positive economic boost, as retailers' accounts moved from 'red' to 'black'. Good Friday, however, has its roots in Christian theology and is a pivotal event in the Christian liturgical calendar, with no economic connotation.
The activities on Black Friday are predominantly centered around shopping, with stores offering extensive discounts and opening early. In stark contrast, Good Friday is observed through church services, prayer, fasting, and processions, reflecting its solemn and religious nature.
While Black Friday is primarily a phenomenon in the United States and has spread to other countries as a global shopping event, Good Friday is observed worldwide by Christians regardless of cultural or national differences, emphasizing its religious and universal significance.
The atmosphere on Black Friday is one of excitement and hustle, often characterized by crowded stores and early-morning queues. On Good Friday, the mood is somber and reflective, with many Christians attending church services and participating in observances that mark Jesus Christ's suffering and death.

Comparison Chart


Commercial, Retail-focused
Religious, Christian observance

Origin of Term

Economic context (from 'red' to 'black')
Commemorates Jesus Christ's crucifixion

Primary Activities

Shopping, Sales
Church services, Prayer, Fasting

Global Spread

Predominantly in Western countries, now global
Observed worldwide by Christians

General Atmosphere

Excitement, Crowds
Solemnity, Reflection

Black Friday and Good Friday Definitions

Black Friday

Black Friday is characterized by promotional sales and discounts by retailers.
Many stores open early for Black Friday deals.

Good Friday

Good Friday is observed by Christians worldwide with solemnity.
Good Friday reminds us of Jesus' sacrifice.

Black Friday

Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, known for retail sales and heavy shopping.
I got a new TV at half price on Black Friday.

Good Friday

Good Friday often involves religious services and processions.
The Good Friday procession was a moving experience.

Black Friday

Black Friday has become a global phenomenon, extending beyond the United States.
Black Friday is now observed in many countries with special deals.

Good Friday

Good Friday is part of the Holy Week leading up to Easter.
Good Friday is a day of fasting and prayer in our church.

Black Friday

Black Friday is a significant day for the retail industry.
Black Friday sales figures are a key economic indicator.

Good Friday

Good Friday is a Christian holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
We attended a special service on Good Friday.

Black Friday

Black Friday marks the unofficial beginning of the Christmas shopping season.
Retailers often turn a profit on Black Friday.

Good Friday

Good Friday is a public holiday in many Christian countries.
Schools and offices are often closed on Good Friday.


Are businesses closed on Black Friday?

No, it's a major day for retail and businesses often extend hours.

What's the religious significance of Good Friday?

It marks Jesus Christ's sacrifice for humanity's sins.

How is Good Friday observed?

Through religious services, fasting, and prayer, commemorating Jesus Christ's crucifixion.

Can you get online deals on Black Friday?

Yes, online retailers also offer significant discounts.

What is Black Friday?

A day of significant retail sales following Thanksgiving in the USA.

Why is Black Friday called 'black'?

Originally indicating retailers moving from loss (red) to profit (black).

Do other countries participate in Black Friday sales?

Yes, it has become a global shopping event.

Is fasting mandatory on Good Friday?

It's a common practice among Christians, but not mandatory.

What happens in churches on Good Friday?

Special services, often including readings of the Passion of Christ.

How did Black Friday become popular?

Through aggressive marketing and consumer demand for deals.

What's the historical context of Good Friday?

It's rooted in the biblical story of Jesus' crucifixion.

Is Good Friday a public holiday?

Yes, in many Christian-majority countries.

What is the significance of Good Friday in Christianity?

It represents Jesus' sacrifice and the core of Christian faith.

Are there any controversies associated with Black Friday?

Yes, including consumerism excess and worker exploitation concerns.

How do people commemorate Good Friday?

Through prayer, reflection, and attending religious services.

Does Good Friday have different traditions worldwide?

Yes, traditions vary across Christian denominations and cultures.

Do prices really drop on Black Friday?

Yes, many retailers offer their biggest discounts of the year.

Is Black Friday recognized as a holiday?

No, it's not an official holiday, but many people take the day off.

How has Black Friday changed over the years?

It's expanded beyond a single day and increasingly moved online.

What's the difference in mood between Black Friday and Good Friday?

Black Friday is hectic and consumer-focused, while Good Friday is solemn and reflective.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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