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Scarlet pride: More than 1,000 redheads gather for Dutch festival

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Redheads, unite!

Less than 2 per cent of the world's population has red hair, according to the BBC. And you won't likely find a larger concentration than at the annual festival for redheads, held over the weekend in Breda, in the Netherlands.

Forming "a society of scarlet," roughly 1,400 ginger-haired individuals from 52 countries descended upon the city to take part in the Roodharigen celebration, which involved photo shoots, a fashion show and lectures about red hair.

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Images from the festival show a sea of pale faces topped with ginger locks. The sight is made all the more staggering by a dress code that asks all participants to wear green.

"You don't see them too often, and when you're here at the redhead days with almost 1,400 redheads? Well, that's very special," one woman with light, rust-coloured hair told the BBC.

"A girl and a boy from Germany wrote me an e-mail," added festival organizer Bart Rouwenhorst. "They met here at the festival and they come back every year. This is wonderful."

The Roodharigen website notes that redheads are becoming increasingly rare and that some geneticists believe natural redheads may disappear altogether in 100 years. The country with the highest percentage of natural redheads in the world is reportedly Scotland, with 13 per cent, followed by Ireland with 10 per cent.

As the Hot Button previously reported , the survival of the "ginger gene" is further threatened by lack of demand for redheaded children. The world's largest sperm bank, Cryos International, said it was no longer accepting donations from redheads last year.

While the Roodharigen festival is said to be one of the largest redhead celebrations in the world , smaller gatherings can be found in Ireland and the United States.

Is your hair more honey than ginger? No need to feel left out of the Dutch festivities. Latvia holds an annual parade just for you.

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About the Author

Wency Leung is a general assignment reporter for the Life section. Before joining The Globe in early 2010, she has worked as a reporter in Vancouver, Prague, and Phnom Penh. More

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