On 25 December 1914 the trenches of World War One briefly ran silent. No guns fired; no shells were loaded, no boots marched on the cold, hard mud. Instead, a different cacophony filled the air; the sound of thousands of beleaguered and deeply traumatised men singing Christmas Carols. For one day, the two opposing forces - previously engaged in ruthless mutual slaughter - had temporarily shelved their hostilities. Similarly, this Saturday, National Kiss A Ginger Day calls for a temporary, one-day armistice on the animosity typically shown toward people with red-hair.
National Kiss A Ginger Day, January 12, will be marking its 10th anniversary this year. To celebrate, Derek Forgie, the Canadian comedian behind its inception, has created a special event in Dublin's Phoenix Park.
Now, it is important to state that when I say 'special event', what I mean by 'special' is 'Facebook', and what I mean by 'event' is 'event'. He has created a Facebook event calling for redhead people to meet up in the Phoenix Park this Saturday to be kissed by well-meaning members of the public. Now, while this may sound almost indistinguishable from some kind of dubiously solicited mass dogging-event, it is important that we take it at face value - especially as I've been legally advised to downplay these inferences.
The day was conceived as a means of targeting bullying against redheads and has gained significant international attention since then. Celebrities such as Conan O'Brien and Ed Sheeran have helped to promote and increase awareness for the initiative.
It is great to see initiatives such as these help tackle the bizarre prejudices that exist as arbitrary pretexts for bullying. Liberated from these, we can finally turn our attentions to more pressing matters: systemically ostracising and harrassing all those people who insisted on being known as 'strawberry blonds' and abandoned all their red-headed compatriots during the tougher times before National Kiss A Ginger Day helped restore equality.