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Once again, the time of the year has come when we have to decide whether we want to participate in the Winter Bash.

The event will start on 14 December 2015 and run up to and including 03 January 2016. Users will be able to see all the hats they've earned on http://winterbash2015.stackexchange.com. That site will also have an FAQ to explain how things work.

Individual users who don't want to participate, don't want to see hats, and/or are generally anti-hat will have an "I hate hats" option available, like in previous years. And just like last time, at the end of the event, all hats will go back into storage.

If we don't want to participate in this year's Winter Bash, we need to give note of that until the tenth, so make up your minds:

Do we want hats?


The majority of voters said Aye, so there will be hats, there will be madness, and there will probably also be an Alice somewhere.

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    $\begingroup$ How are we protecting our heads? Well, that depends on what we are protecting our heads from. Is there a snowball coming at our heads? an ACME anvil? What do you know about an imminent threat to our heads? Why are you being so secretive? $\endgroup$ – user642796 Dec 3 '15 at 23:20
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    $\begingroup$ Just a side comment: out of 222576 users (according to SEDE), 74725 were created in 2015, which is 33.6%. Something to consider for old-timers who may well be tired of hats themselves: these users didn't have a chance to participate in WinterBash yet. $\endgroup$ – user147263 Dec 4 '15 at 1:25
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    $\begingroup$ if people have the option not to see hats, why are we taking a poll in the first place? Those who are against can just click on the option :D $\endgroup$ – Ant Dec 4 '15 at 1:37
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    $\begingroup$ 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. $\endgroup$ – Ian Miller Dec 4 '15 at 2:58
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    $\begingroup$ @IanMiller Basically during the Winter Bash event there will be some tasks (e.g., voting on a certain kind of post, or posting on a particular day, or annoying a particular SE employee) which, when completed, will award you with a "hat" to be "worn" by your avatar. Here are a couple blog posts about last year's Winter Bash that might give you a better idea: Winter Bash 2014, So long Winter Bash 2014. $\endgroup$ – user642796 Dec 4 '15 at 5:30
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    $\begingroup$ Side note: Winter Bash is currently running in test mode behind the scenes, and except for Stack Overflow (which wins through sheer volume), math.se is leading the pack by a long shot with 9,002 hats earned in five days, compared to the runner-up site with 5,611 hats. $\endgroup$ – balpha Dec 4 '15 at 6:49
  • $\begingroup$ @balpha How many secret hats have been won so far? Is one of the secret hats "balpha boat" this year? Did I just get it? $\endgroup$ – user642796 Dec 4 '15 at 6:56
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    $\begingroup$ Hats are good. They keep your head warm and protect against the sun. $\endgroup$ – robjohn Dec 4 '15 at 7:37
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    $\begingroup$ @Ant Some effects of Winter Bash are still visible to those who opt out, due to the actions that users take to earn certain hats. (Example: rumor has it that one of hats will be for posting on meta on a particular day; these posts will not be invisible to those who opt out.) $\endgroup$ – user147263 Dec 4 '15 at 7:47
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    $\begingroup$ 6 months too late for a winter bash, for those of us South of the Equator. Down with Borealocentrism! $\endgroup$ – Gerry Myerson Dec 4 '15 at 11:39
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    $\begingroup$ @GerryMyerson Now is the winter of your discontent. $\endgroup$ – Daniel Fischer Dec 4 '15 at 11:41
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    $\begingroup$ Can we change "I hate hats" to "sod off, I don't want imaginary clothing to go with my imaginary points" - my problem is not with hats. $\endgroup$ – Alec Teal Dec 5 '15 at 15:56
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    $\begingroup$ @Alec I doubt you can convince the powers that be to use that sort of language (they're all older than 14 as far as I know). But you can of course make a userscript to rename the option on your side. $\endgroup$ – Daniel Fischer Dec 5 '15 at 16:03
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    $\begingroup$ @Alec You can make a feature-request on Meta Stack Exchange to rename the button "Ugh, no, I don't want imaginary clothing to go with my imaginary points". Probably would be too late for this year, but maybe next. As for the remainder of your comment, I have no idea what you mean. I wouldn't propose impossible things like squaring a circle or controlling 14 year olds. $\endgroup$ – Daniel Fischer Dec 5 '15 at 16:12
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    $\begingroup$ Apparently two users are illiterate and downvoted the "Aye!" post... $\endgroup$ – Najib Idrissi Dec 5 '15 at 18:59
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Aye!

This awesome dude

enter image description here

knew how to wear hats, and so do we!

Image of Fejér Lipót from wikipedia, by user MessinaRagazza

locked by Daniel Fischer Dec 9 '15 at 19:17
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Nay!

Like this great man

enter image description here

we prove our theorems with our bare heads!

locked by Daniel Fischer Dec 9 '15 at 19:18
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    $\begingroup$ We will never win. $\endgroup$ – Git Gud Dec 7 '15 at 23:34
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    $\begingroup$ @GitGud A hat makes you taller ;) $\endgroup$ – Sebb Dec 8 '15 at 13:45
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    $\begingroup$ @Git Gud: We can also look at that positively, and claim that we are winning in the race to who's losing this poll! :( $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Dec 9 '15 at 6:25

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