Calling all gingers for Holland’s redhead festival!

Coebergh Redhead Festival is an event in Breda, Holland, which originated in 2005 and is now a worldwide annual phenomenon. Thousands of natural — or so they claim — redheads from all over the globe (over 36 countries in 2009) will gather in Breda’s Big Square, Grote Markt, for photoshoots, musical performances, a fashion show, lectures about the origins and significance of red hair and more.

The Coebergh (a popular women’s drink) Redhead Festival or “Redhead Day” was originally conceived by artist Bart Rouwenhorst, and art features heavily in the festivities, which include a “red” exhibition in nearby Grote Kerk with a giant, red Rapunzel braid as the central work.

Sunday, September 5, 2010 is the big day. If you want to go to Breda, the nearest airports are Rotterdam and Eindhoven, but you can also fly into Amsterdam Schiphol or Brussels Zaventem (they’re equidistant from Breda) and take the train. You can find a hotel here at the Breda Tourist Office.

To participate in Sunday’s (and the preceding Saturday’s) exciting activities for the fair of skin and red of hair, just register on the website by clicking here. It’s free of charge, and what could be more fun than to walk in a gingery sea of your own kind?

[Photo by e3000 via Flickr.]

Beijing Cabbies Not Allowed to Dye Hair Red

Yesterday I posted about tickets going on sale for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Understandably, China wants to make a good impression on the hordes of international travelers who will descend upon their country. In an effort to control that impression, the government has made a 12-item self-improvement list for cabdrivers.

So, if you travel to Beijing for the games, you can be sure your cabdrivers won’t smoke, spit or overcharge. Women won’t wear big earrings or have red hair, and men’s hair will be kept short. They’ll also always use their meter, or they’ll run the risk of losing their license.

On the one hand, I feel sorry for cabbies who are having their appearance micro-managed by the Chinese government, but on the other, taking a taxi in a country you’re not familiar with — especially when your language isn’t commonly spoken — can be daunting. Travelers who are confident they can make their way around the city — without being taken for the proverbial ride — are far more likely to enjoy their stay.

That being said, what does the government have against red hair?