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The Traveller's Magazine
  •   2 min read

Red-heads upon red-heads are planning their trips to the Netherlands in September for the annual, Roodharigendag, Redhead Day, in other words. If you have hair the colour of fire or if you simply love red-heads, this is one festival you cannot miss!

Roodharigendag: the story

You can bet there is nothing like this anywhere else in the world! It all started out in Asten a few years ago in 2005. A local artist, Bart Rouwenhorst, was so inspired by the likes of Gustav Klimpt and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, whose works frequently feature redheaded ladies, that he organised a large casting event to find the perfect redheaded models for his paintings.

Finding redheads in the Netherlands proved difficult (only 2% of the population had red hair) so he advertised more widely and on the day, hundreds turned out instead of the 15 he required. The success of it all was the actual meeting, coming together, of so many redheads in one place. Every year the number grows and grows and by now it’s safe to officially call it a festival with thousands flocking to Breda to celebrate their hair colour.

Unbearable fact: “Redheads are becoming more and more rare and could completely disappear within 100 years!” At least that’s what the organisers of the festival think. Apart from this festival in Breda, you’re most likely to meet a red-head in Scotland (where 13% of the population is redheaded) and in Ireland (10%).


Who do redheads get their own festival? It’s well-known that redheads have suffered their fair share of discrimination and ridicule throughout history. Some societies saw them as evil, children of the Devil, because of their fiery hair. More recently Tesco was caught for discrimination when it printed a greeting card that pictured Santa Claus with a child on his knee and read,

“Santa loves all children, even redheads.”



Immediate scandal! The incident really brought redheads together and today that common pride is the centre of the festival which includes events like picnics, workshops, conferences, films, concerts, photos and even a fashion show. Don’t miss the chance to explore Breda while you’re there. The central town marketplace, the Gothic cathedral, Breda castle and even the garden of William Markx.

  • Date: August 30th to September 1st, 2013
  • Location: Breda, south-west Netherlands
  • Getting there: search for flights to Rotterdam, the closest international airport
  • Dress code: Blue
  • More info:
Imgs: Redhead Dayse³°°°e³°°°Redhead Days / Flickr cc.

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