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As you may have noticed, the top bar on this site (and every other Stack Exchange site) has a new icon button that looks like an ice crystal. This button is available for the duration of Winter Bash, a yearly event during which you can earn "hats" by participating in the site.

Below are a few examples of hats you can earn:

  • "Gonna Find Out": vote 150 times (this would do our site much good).
  • "Six Cornered Hat": earn the Necromancer badge.
  • "Rep Hunter": five accepted answers in one day (very difficult on our site).
  • "Pizza Hat": answer +3 a question with accepted answer.
  • "Identification Division": earn a silver badge (definitely feasible here).
  • "Explorer": accepted answer with no votes.
  • "Silencium": question with no answers for a week (this can definitely happen on our site).

There are many other hats and a few secret hats (which Stack Exchange users quickly figure out). When you earn a hat, you can position it over your avatar. Of course, participation in this "hatarchy" is entirely optional; you can opt out (and opt in again) at any time.

Winter Bash 2018 will end on 1 January 2019, after which all hats will disappear and everything will return to normal.

There is also a leaderboard for our site.


Update:

Bounty for the best answer

There will be a 100 rep bounty for the best answer submitted to the main site during Winter Bash 2108. After the hats have disappeared, you can nominate exemplary answers in responses to this question. Please submit one response per nomination and vote on the submitted nominations. The nomination with the highest number of votes will get the 100 rep bounty.

(Glorfindel's answer was submitted before this update was posted; votes on that answer are obviously not relevant to the bounty.)

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A nice challenge, encouraging cross-participation on other (language-related) sites like English Language Learners is

  • Brunhilde: earn 150 reputation points on three different sites (not including Stack Overflow) within 15 days)

There are also moderately easily obtainable hats for new users:

  • Still Fresh: be a user on the site for less than 6 months before Winter Bash, or join during Winter Bash; have earned at least 25 reputation
  • Member of the Hand: post a question or answer on meta or on the main site that appears with the New Contributor indicator and gets a score of 3

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