Is Black Friday a Holiday? Who's Open, Closed or Has the Day Off on Shopping Day

The day after Thanksgiving has come to be known as Black Friday and is associated with the biggest shopping event of the year. While Thanksgiving is a federal holiday, Black Friday is not. That means that post offices, banks and the stock market will reopen on Friday.

However, Black Friday is a state holiday in about half of the states in the country. They include California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia. State government employees in those states get the day off. About 80 percent of employers give it as a paid day off, according to Office Holidays.

Some schools and colleges give Black Friday off to make Thanksgiving a four-day weekend for students to visit their families at home.

Black Friday's name is a source of some debate. Some say it may have earned its name as a shopping holiday in Philadelphia one year when the streets became full with shoppers. Others say it has the name because it marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season and retailers typically go from "red" to "black" and start making a profit.

In fact, #BlackFriday didn’t take on its current more positive significance as America’s most popular holiday shopping day until the 1980s.

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Many retailers and department stores like Macy's, Walmart, Target and electronic stores like Best Buy began opening early on Black Friday or Thanksgiving night around 2011. Since then, some stores have begun their Black Friday sales earlier and earlier on Thanksgiving night, and some now offer their sales the week of Thanksgiving. For this reason, some people believe Black Friday is becoming less of a day and more of a week of deals.

"I think the traditionalists will have a hard time stomaching that," Josh Elman, a consumer and retail analyst with Nasdaq Advisory Services, told Business Insider last year. "But I think at the end of the day ... the whole idea and concept of Black Friday deals in store will diminish over time."

That would put Black Friday even farther away from being a nationally-recognized holiday.

Bargain hunters shop for discounted merchandise at Macy's on 'Black Friday' on November 25, 2011, in New York City. Michael Nagle/Getty Images