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Mad Friday, also known as Black Eye Friday or Builders' Friday, refers to the last Friday before Christmas when many people finish work for the holiday season and celebrate by going out drinking. Consequently, bars, clubs, and other venues across the country typically become very busy as large groups of friends gather together for festive merrymaking. This surge in demand for a night out has potential consequences for public services and emergency personnel, who often deal with an increased number of alcohol-related incidents during this time.
The origins of Mad Friday are uncertain, but it has become an annual phenomenon across the United Kingdom over the past few decades. Its name "Mad Friday" is attributed to the widespread revelry that occurs, as well as the challenges it can pose for local authorities and public service workers as they manage the increase in rowdy behaviour and alcohol-related incidents. While the event can generate a boost for local economies with increased business for bars, restaurants, and taxi services, it also places pressure on police forces and emergency services to ensure public safety and order is maintained during this exceptionally busy period.
Mad Friday is observed by people unwinding after the build-up to the festive season, often featuring food and drinks shared in a celebratory atmosphere with friends and colleagues. The event is typically marked by large crowds and high revelry, with some people choosing to wear costumes or festive clothing in the spirit of the occasion. Mad Friday takes place on the last Friday before Christmas, generally falling on a date between December 18th and December 24th, depending on the year's calendar.
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