Kiss A Ginger Day
Celebrated annually on 12th January the Kiss A Ginger Day is an unofficial holiday to show some love to the lovely gingers in our lives. If you are thinking it’s about culinary ginger, then do read on.
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Related: Other National Days Celebrated on January 12th:
Why Kiss A Ginger Day?
With flaming red locks, pale skin, and light-colored eyes, red-haired individuals have an other-worldly aura that can elicit responses of either admiration or prejudice. The mixed reaction has been present since ancient days and continues to plague our society. The term redhead was used as early as 1510. Today the numerous synonyms such as ginger, rusty, carrot-top, copper-head are more often used to ridicule the red-haired individuals, described as “Gingerism” or “Gingerphobia” by the British Media. Gingerism has been often compared to a type of racism as it has resulted in numerous hate-crimes and bullying.
The common assumption is that this unique trait is indigenous to countries like Scotland or Ireland. However, studies and archaeological evidence point out that this mutation first occurred in the regions of Central Asia. Red-hair individuals constitute only 2 percent of the population owing to the MCR1 gene mutation. This mutation resulted in the production of red hair accompanied by other features like freckles and pale skin.
The recessive MCR1 gene manifests only in the presence of 2 copies of the gene. Even if both the parents are red-haired there is only a 1 in 4 probability of having a red-haired child. This rarity has been the origin of many myths which are again polarised. Some myths held red-heads as holy people as they were thought to harbor the flame of God’s in their fiery locks. On the other hand, they were associated with witchcraft, hot-temper, or immorality. Like the X-men, storyline mankind finds it difficult to handle people who are different even when it comes to rare hair color.
In 2008, Facebook was condemned for a group started by a 14-year old boy that gained up to 5000 members, supporting a national Kick A Ginger day observance on 20th November. The Vancouver resident was investigated by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police as this turned out to be an aggressive event resulting in assaults in many schools. It almost seems ironic that one of the most sought out hair products is red dyes, even with a seemingly prevalent disregard for the redheads. Kiss a Ginger Day reminds us that discrimination in any sense is unacceptable. This day is all about letting your red-haired friends and family know that they are not outcasts in any sense, rather they are unique genetic rarities whom we admire and love.
How Can We Observe Kiss A Ginger Day?
- Show Some Love
You can give a peck to your favorite red-haired person only with their consent of course! You can also get them gifts, cook for them, or get our hair-dyed red.
- Educate people about the Red hair gene!
Many problems can be solved when we are aware of the facts! Learn more about the MCR1 gene and educate your friends, family, and colleagues today!
- Fight Against The Discrimination
When you see a person being shamed for their red-hair react and report to the authorities. Let’s make this discrimination uncool!
- Post On Social Media
Share posts and pictures, songs, or movies of your favorite red-haired celebrities or friends and use the #KissAGingerDay with their consent.
Interesting Facts About Kiss A Ginger Day:
Few Facts Related To Kiss A Ginger Day
- Natural Red hair doesn’t turn grey as the pigment lasts longer than other shades.
- A Christmas card released by Tesco in 2009 was withdrawn after complaints were reported regarding a tagline that conveyed Santa loved even the redheads.
- Their pale skin is highly sensitive to ultraviolet rays and hence have higher risks of skin cancer
- Biblical personas like David, Esau, and Mary Magdalene are said to have had red hair.
- Redheads are more said to be more sensitive to pain as the Mutated MCR1 gene is also associated with pain receptors. Redheads are more likely to be left-handed associated with the paired recessive genes.
History Of Kiss A Ginger Day:
The Kiss A Ginger Day was an initiative begun by Derek Forgie in 2009 on Facebook to counter the bullying against red-haired people. It was done in response to an episode of South Park that depicted an imaginary Kick A Ginger Day event that set off a chain of bullying incidents.