Red heads get together on Kiss a Ginger Day

The founder of “Kiss a Ginger Day” has hailed the event’s role in beating the bullies as it marked its 10th birthday.

Derek Forgie joined other red heads in Dublin on Saturday afternoon to again rejoice in the hair colour they all share.

Canadian Mr Forgie organised the first Kiss a Ginger Day in 2009 in response to the emergence of “Kick a Ginger Day” – a fictional event in the US satirical cartoon South Park which was subsequently linked to a spate of school bullying incidents targeting red-headed children.

Four-year-old twins Ollie, left, and Oisin Kiernan enjoyed an ice cream together on Kiss a Ginger Day (Niall Carson/PA)

Young and old gathered in Dublin’s Phoenix Park for the event’s landmark anniversary.

Fellow gingers posed for selfies, swapped hairdressing tips and joked about their need for sun cream on a biting cold Irish winter day.

There was an international flavour to the celebration, with attendees from as far afield as the USA and Poland.

Red heads travelled from across the world to take part in the event (Niall Carson/PA)

Ginger dreadlocks were on show, as were long red beards.

In keeping with the name of the day, there were also a few kisses shared.

There was even a quiz on red head trivia, with the winners receiving ginger nuts, oranges and jars of ginger spice.

Katie, left, Grace and Ellie, right, Bermingham and their brother William won some Ginger Nuts (Niall Carson/PA)

Mr Forgie said the impact of the event had been “overwhelmingly positive” in the last decade.

“As you may remember there was a Kick a Ginger Day from about 10 years ago and my hope was to just change a couple of words and spin it in a positive way and hopefully it would take off and be more famous than the negative one, and it has seemed to work out.

“Here we are 10 years later and it still draws a crowd.

“It’s a push back against some of the bullying we have seen and some of the marginalisation we have seen and I think some people really resonate with something that’s positive.”

Catherine, left, Denise and Chlie, right, Steward travelled to the event from Mallow (Niall Carson/PA)

Proud ginger Denise Steward travelled from Mallow in Co Cork with her two red-headed daughters.

“We decided we would have some fun and come on up and see some other gingers,” said Ms Steward, who is originally from America.

“It’s a big part of our life so we just thought we’d come up and check it out and have some craic.”

- Press Association

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