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Today (Dec 24, ~11AM local time, 10AM UTC) when I voted on a post (both Ask Ubuntu and Meta SE), I received the "Bûche de Noël" hat on both sites.

However, the description of that hat on http://winterbash2016.stackexchange.com/ reads

post or vote on December 25

The hat I expected to get instead is "Have a little Dreidel", which should be awarded for

post or vote on any of the days of Chanukah

On the Meta Answer here, this is more detailedly specified as Dec 24 - Jan 1.

Why am I getting the wrong hat here? Bug in the hat system? Wrong hat descriptions?


Update: I got both hats awarded now on all qualifying sites, so the bug seems to be fixed and the provided explanations seem correct as provided in the accepted answer.

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Bûche de Noël is awarded between 10am UTC on the 24th (12am of the 25th in some Pacific islands) and 11:59am UTC on the 26th (11:59pm of the 25th in some other Pacific islands).

I Have A little Dreidel is awarded between 10am UTC on the 23rd (12am of the 24th in some Pacific islands) and 11:59am UTC on the 1st (11:59pm of the 31st in some other Pacific islands).

Time Zones

That said, the second did not happen because of a stupid error which I've corrected now.

  • 7
    Next year, can you please clarify this type of thing in the criteria description? For example, an explanation of ask, answer, or vote on December 25th (anywhere in the world) would have been much clearer. Either that, or use UTC for date-based hats, like every sane person. ;-) – a CVn Dec 24 '16 at 12:47
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    @MichaelKjörling Yeah, I agree. We should be more explicit whenever we break the usual "we operate in UTC and UTC only" assumption. Making a mental note to bring that up next year with whoever works on Winterbash. – Adam Lear Dec 25 '16 at 2:13
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The Bûche de Noël is awarded because it's already December 25th in the easternmost timezones of the world. This is the same behaviour as with the secret 'Where in the World' hat, which began to be awarded shortly after December 20th, 10:00 UTC, even though it's the 'December 21st' hat. It seems to work this way for most date-based hats.

Why the Dreidel hat is not awarded remains a mystery. It might be a bug, or there might be some additional requirements which aren't mentioned in the hat's description. Chanukah traditionally begins in the evening so we might need to wait a little longer.

  • This rings true for the Epiphany (date-based) hat as well. I was awarded the hat for a vote cast at 2017-01-05 13:32:31Z (8:32 a.m. my time) when the specifications state the hat is awarded for votes on the 6th. – OhBeWise Jan 5 '17 at 13:55

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