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When is Hug a Ginger Day? Ginger Awareness Day?
When is Hug a Ginger Day? Ginger Awareness Day?
Redhead Counter-movement is Passionate but not Unified
In my past blog, I noted how despite growing redhead movements and events, the worldwide community of redheads is still quite scattered. Word has barely gotten around about a new redhead scholarship. Roodharigendag / Redhead Day in the Netherlands has attracted thousands of redheads from countries around the globe, but your average redhead on the street probably hasn't heard of it - depite media coverage. And those few who are familiar with Roodharigendag probably have not heard of previous redhead festivals in Russia or elsewhere. I was even surprised myself by finding remarks of redhead conventions as far back as the 80's.
Recent blogs and passionte comment threads on the Gingerism blog demonstrate there are many differing opinions on even what gingerism or "redism" is. Is it racism? Is "ginger" itself a deragatory word? There's apparently quite a bit to discuss in that regard, but I'll save that for another article. I want to focus on simply bringing together all redheads to the same table first.
Redhead World has been hit by search queries asking "when is 'Hug a Ginger Day' 2010"? Sadly, we've gotten queries still searching for "when is 'Kick a Ginger Day'"? If you're not already familiar with "Kick a Ginger Day," it's a day originating in Canada on a Facebook group in 2008 (video news coverage of original 2008 International Kick a Ginger Day). November 20 was picked as a day to kick anyone with red hair. The inspiration comes from the "Ginger Kids" episode of "South Park" by completely ignoring the very moral the episode teaches. A brave redhead took over the Facebook group and converted it to "Hug a Ginger Day," a day to celebrate people with ginger hair, rather than kick them.
Universal Multiversal Hug a Ginger Day - November 20
The Hug a Ginger Day group as discussed in the previous Hug a Ginger Day blog took over the November 20 day in a straightforward way. It seemed a good way to turn a negative into a positive, and the group gained over 1,500 members. There was also significant media coverage in 2009 after the beatings, arrests, and harassment that took place that day. Redhead World reported on it as well.
Hug a Ginger Day - December 8 (2009)
Violence spread on the 2nd annual Kick a Ginger Day in 2009, particularly the more severe redhead beatings in Calabasas, California where arrests were made. Clearly, some did not get the message of the day being overtaken by Hug a Ginger Day. So another Calabasas high school senior, Andrew Cohen, created a Hug a Ginger Day on December 8 with a Facebook event gaining over 3,000 attendees (the event has since expired). This event got a lot more publicity following the violence, and gave a breather for redheads and supporters needing to regroup after November 20.
- KTLA reports on Hug a Ginger Day couter-movement
- A shirt printing business with many redhead staff joined in on Hug a Ginger Day
- Daily News reports on Hug a Ginger Day
National Ginger Awareness Day - February 22 (Scotland - U.K.)
As I was researching the news on what I thought were the top two contenders for Hug a Ginger Day, I found one from the U.K. - National Ginger Awareness Day on February 22. Ginger Awareness Day has even made it to Urban Dictionary, with only a little support. The origins of this day are a little murky though.
There's a couple of bloggers who have reported on another Hug a Ginger Day or tried to start one in 2007, even before Kick a Ginger day. There's also a small parade of YouTube videos of students celebrating Hug a Ginger Day on several other days in December 2009 and January 2010. This all goes to show a day or two need to be picked to focus our efforts.
Redhead Festivals as Redhead Awareness Day?
The big redhead festivals can't be forgotten in a discussion of redhead awareness days. After all, the biggest to date, Roodharigendag, means "Redhead Day" in English and showcases a lot of redhead love. This gathering having grown to 2,000+ redheads per year from the first celebration of the first weekend in September started in 2005. Then there is the other September of the Udmurt people of Russia, "Рыжий фестиваль" - the "Red Festival" or "Redhead Festival." The annual festival in Izhevsk has been held since 2004 among the ethnic group who may counter the Scots' claim of "most redheaded people in the world."
But these festivals are perhaps left best as big celebrations of redheadedness. Roodharigendag is a weekend festival too, and school students - who are feeling the brunt of Kick a Ginger Day - can't raise awareness on a non-school day. Though Roodharigendag has reportedly been listed on some calendars in the Netherlands, so maybe the Friday before or Monday after could be celebrated in school?
When is Hug a Ginger Day 2010?
So with 2010 already well under way, I think the redhead community needs to decide on a day. Perhaps each country will have their own day to focus on, but the events of Kick a Ginger Day were felt beyond Canada and the U.S. in 2009, so an international day might be observed. In terms of raw media coverage and Facebook support, it would appear December 8 has the largest following already. As I can't follow non-English sources as closely, do you know of any other redhead awareness days? What do you think should be the day?
- By SpireMagus 1955 Days AgoFor some reason i said I thought it was 21st November to somebody....hah I was way off!