Redhead Day: 5,000 Gingers Show Off Their Locks in Dutch Festival

Nowhere else do the fiery-haired standouts blend right in

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They’re thought to make up only 2% of the world’s population. But in the center of the Dutch town of Breda this weekend, the proportion of redheads was closer to 100%.

With nearly 5,000 redheads descended on Breda on Saturday and Sunday, you’d be forgiven if you thought Breda was on fire. Hair of all shades from strawberry to auburn glinted brightly as the town celebrated its sixth annual Redhead Day, attracting gingers from 52 different countries, organizers said.

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And it was a record breaker too. The celebration set a new world record of 1,255 redheads gathered simultaneously for a photo, surpassing its previous tally of 890 redheads. There was also a parade, art exhibitions and photo shoots of all sorts — including one that involved dressing as a mermaid in homage to the quintessential Disney redhead, Ariel. In that spirit, organizers asked the attending redheads to wear the one color that directly complements their hair: green.

According to the BBC, the redhead fest was launched somewhat by accident in 2005, when a local Dutch painter was recruiting 15 ginger-haired models for a painting. When he received 10 times the number of responses than what he needed, he decided to amass them all for a photo shoot. And the number of redheads present each year has grown exponentially — as has the number of boring-haired spectators. These nonginger gawkers numbered more than 7,000 in 2009, the BBC noted, although that total hasn’t been updated since.

Most likely because the day was about redheads’ uniqueness, even though for once they’re hardly unique. Used to standing out in any crowd, this weekend, they were just a part of it.

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4 comments
Bliss Bernal
Bliss Bernal

I find "you’d be forgiven if you thought Breda was on fire" mildly insulting--at the very least, not very nice.

"Ginger" is a slightly derogatory word, esp. in the UK where there is a history of prejudice and even bullying against people with red hair.  The video title says "just don't call them ginger," but the author decided to call the red-heads "gingers" in the article.

Although as a red head I was delighted to see this event is taking place, I think the author should re-read his article and adjust his tone.