I tried to write a meta post about winter bash and hats, but I couldn't find any simple explanation page to link to. I ended up garbling a home-spun description of my own with a not-terribly-helpful image from 2012.

This comment on a separate Meta.math.se thread puts it better than I can:

As a new user in 2015 can there please be more information about what is WinterBash. The link took me to a bunch of stick figures running around making (I think) numbers (I think its a countdown clock). It doesn't explain the event or even what a hat is. – Ian Miller Dec 4 at 2:58

All I found on Meta was dead links. For example, What is Winter Bash all about? was downvoted to -2 and answered with a link to an FAQ page that no longer exists.


1 Answer 1


TL;DR - Winter Bash is a fun event, that starts every year in the middle of December, usually between Hanukkah and Christmas, and lasts until the end of that year, for about 2 weeks. During this event, users are given "hats" for doing certain actions on the sites (hats are per site, like badges) and they can choose what "hat" to wear via their profile. That hat will be visible on top of their avatar for everyone to see. There is a spirit of competition inspired by having a global leaderboard, and a race to find the secret hats. When the event is over, the "hats" are all gone and can't be accessed anymore.

Also, there is a page for each Winterbash.

The first was Winter Bash 2012, which is introduced here:

As 2012 came to a close, Stack Exchange decided to finish out the year with a little bit of fun...and hats! Users discovered hats by using their site in special ways, such as voting, posting on meta, editing posts to be better, and even chatting. The set included non-hat items such as glasses, headphones, bowties, and masks. Hat progress was trackable at a special landing page at http://winterba.sh, which included definitions and criteria. As a bonus, several hats were secret and only findable by the most diligent!

Then each year they explained what's new in this year's Winter Bash.

You can browse all the promotion events, as Stack Exchange calls them, here.


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