With December in full swing, the end of 2022 is officially on the horizon - and with that comes a number of special days and holidays, including, of course, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Years Eve and Mad Friday.
Not familiar with Mad Friday? Don’t worry - here’s everything you need to know.
What is Mad Friday - and when is it?
Mad Friday, also sometimes known as Black Friday (no, not that Black Friday), Frantic Friday or Black Eye Friday, is the name given to the Friday before Christmas Eve. The Friday before Christmas Eve is the most popular date for the end of year Christmas work parties, as it’s generally the last working Friday before Christmas.
With so many Christmas parties flooding restaurants, pubs and clubs, things are bound to get a little messy, with Mad Friday one of the busiest nights of the year for ambulances and the police.
This year, Mad Friday falls on 16 December - while there is another Friday that sneaks in there before Christmas Eve, it doesn’t generally count due to the fact that it’s on 23 December.
Where does the name come from?
The day was originally known as Black Friday and was coined by the police, but, in 2013 the day became more popularly known as Mad Friday by the press in order to avoid confusion with the sales event that kicks off annually in November.
Since 2013, the term Mad Friday has been used widely to describe the large number of fights and accidents that break out across bars, pubs and clubs across the UK on the night in question.
In different areas of the country, the date can go by different names - such as, in Devon, it’s known as Factory Friday, because it’s the last day of work for the majority of factory workers, and in other areas it’s known as Builders’ Friday for the same reason.
How do emergency services prepare for Mad Friday?
Over the years, in preparation for Mad Friday, emergency services have taken precautions like setting up mobile drunk tanks, putting up temporary metal detectors and launching social media campaigns to urge people to be safe.
In December 2013, the Greater Manchester Police Twitter account promoted the hashtag #MadMancFriday in hopes of discouraging party goers from getting too drunk in public by exposing some of the embarrassing things that revellers get up to during the infamous night.
At the time, Superintendent Peter Norman of South Yorkshire police said: “Unfortunately, experience shows that on Mad Friday some people will finish work early, head off to the pub, drink too much alcohol, too quickly.
“Combined with the excitement of the festive period they end up behaving completely out of character. Some will be ill, some will be injured and some will be arrested.”
In 2018, the North Yorkshire Police tweeted out the details of every 999 call they received from noon until 6am on Mad Friday to raise awareness about the emergencies that occur on the night.
Some of these incidents included:
- A caller in Scarborough reporting a broken down vehicle that had caught fire
- A report of an altercation outside of a pub in Scarborough wherein a man had become abusive and violent
- A report of a man assaulting a woman
- A call from a fast food restaurant regarding anti-social behaviour
- A report of people in Scarborough running around and believed to be carrying a knife
The account tweeted at one point: “Our 600th incident since midnight relates to a woman who has fallen and has a head injury in Scarborough. Our officers will stay with her until our colleagues from @YorksAmbulance arrive.”