It's Hat Season...Announcing Winter Bash 2016

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Another year is rapidly coming to an end, which means it's time for some fun. Fun with hats! That's right, it's time for our annual event that brings joy to all and creates hat-fanatics everywhere... Winter Bash!

Winter Bash 2016 header/logo image

Starting today through the end of the day on 8 January 2017, you'll be able to earn and wear hats (and possibly accessories) for performing various things you already do across the Stack Exchange network.

Wait, what are hats again?

For those who aren't familiar with Winter Bash and the Season of Hats, we've documented the long history of Hats for your viewing pleasure.

Upon completing one of the many challenges while being logged on a participating site, you will be awarded the associated hat. Once you've earned a hat, you can visit your profile on any site to choose the item you want to wear. Just click the hat dressing up your badges section on your profile to show the dialog:

Bobble hat icon on top right of badges box
Hat Dashboard/List of Hats Earned

Upon picking a hat, you can reposition and resize it to make it fit your avatar. Here is floating head as an example:

Movement and rotation controls attached to hat

Besides seeing all your hats from your profile, you can see how you stack up against the rest of the network on the Winter Bash leaderboard. Only time will tell who will be the ultimate hat-fanatic at the end of the event. As always, if you're a hater of fun and hats, you don't need to participate or even see hats. You can opt out of hats by clicking the snowflake icon in the top bar, and then click the 'I hate hats' link at the bottom left. If you decide that you no longer hate hats, you can always change your mind during the season of hats.

What's new this year?

Just like prior years, we've got all new hats lined up for the event this year. There are 28 total hats you can earn over the next few weeks. We've got some secret hats lined up with a few minor changes:

  • A secret hat for correctly guessing a secret hat will no longer be awarded.
  • This year there are no secret hats for tormenting incessantly poking SE employees under a post. Blame our lawyers; they did not like the idea of staff being poked or tormented for hats.

Hats are awesome and a fun way to end the year. It's our way of showing the communities how much we love them. We also put a lot of love into making hats fun for all. We want to give a special nod to everyone involved in putting it together:

  • The Marketing Design team for coming up with the beautiful design. With extra special thanks to Kalina Moniquet and Nohemi Olvera for the amazing hat images.
  • Our hat-umentary team Kaitlin Pike for producing the video, David Fullerton for the idea, and Talal Sarwani for directing it.
  • Our hat-velopers, Sklivvz and Oded for implementing all engineer-y stuff to get this launched.
  • The hat PM, balpha, for being our fearless hats leader again this year.
  • Plus, everyone else who offered up ideas for hat triggers, designs, and assisted in getting it out the door.

Now go forth and get all the hats!

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