Redheads, celebrate: Today is your day

Are you a redhead? Then it’s time to celebrate.

Nov. 5 is National Love Your Red Hair Day.

The "holiday" was submitted by sisters Adrienne Vendetti and Stephanie Vendetti, co-founders of How to be a Redhead in August 2015. The Registrar at National Day Calendar declared it will be celebrated annually on Nov. 5.

Some famous redheads include Lucille Ball, Prince Harry, Susan Sarandon, Molly Ringwald, Ron Howard, Ann-Margret, Reba McEntire, Conan O’Brien, Chuck Norris, Bette Midler, Rupert Grint and Henry VIII.

To help celebrate, here are some fun facts about redheads, courtesy of Fact Retriever:

  • Approximately 1-2 percent of humans, or about two in 100 people in the world, have red hair.
  • The ancient Greeks believed that redheads would turn into vampires after they died.
  • During the Middle Ages, a child with red hair was thought to be conceived during "unclean sex" or during menstruation.
  • Redheaded women report bruising more easily than other women of different hair colors.
  • Because redheads have thicker hair than people with other hair colors, they have fewer strands of hair. For example, while blondes have on average 140,000 hairs, redheads have approximately 90,000.
  • During the witch hunts of the 16th and 17th centuries in Europe, many women were burned at the stake as witches merely because they had red hair.
  • Red hair is a recessive trait, which means that a child must inherit one red hair gene from each parent. Recessive traits often come in pairs, and redheads are more likely than other people to be left-handed.
  • Scholars note that redheads have influenced history out of proportion to their numbers. Famous redheads include Roman emperor Nero, Helen of Troy, Cleopatra, the ancient god of love Aphrodite, Queen Elizabeth I, Napoleon Bonaparte, Oliver Cromwell, Emily Dickinson, Antonio Vivaldi, Thomas Jefferson, Vincent Van Gogh, Mark Twain, James Joyce, Winston Churchill, Malcolm X, Galileo, and King David.
  • While Scotland has the highest proportion (13 percent) of redheads (followed by Ireland with 10 percent), the United States has the largest population of redheads in the world, with between 6-18 million redheads, or 2 percent to 6 percent of the population.
  • Gingerphobia" is a fear of redheads. "Gingerism" is the bullying or prejudice of redheads.

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