Today, as I was walking to my car, I opened up Pokémon Go to catch as much as I could during my walk. However, I noticed something strange in my Nearby/Sightings tab, so I expanded it:

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"Huh, cool, they gave Pikachu a Christmas portrait for the holidays," I thought, as I minimized the tab and went to go catch it. However, when the encounter started, I noticed Pikachu was actually wearing a Santa hat.

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After catching Pikachu, I checked to see if my other Pikachu also had been given hats, but, to my surprise, they had not.

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What does the Santa hat do for my Pikachu? Is it going to disappear or do I now have a special Pikachu?

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    Just adding - Wild Raichu also have the hat. Hatched Pichu appear not to. (source: reddit) – Kevin L Dec 13 '16 at 20:26
  • @KevinL you should go ahead and add that to the accepted answer since there was uncertainty about wild Raichu – Vemonus Dec 13 '16 at 20:27
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    @Tas Looking back, I should've named them "Snake?", "Snake!", and then "SNAAAAAAAAKE" – Vemonus Dec 14 '16 at 14:03

This is a special, limited edition Pikachu that Niantic released for the holidays.


In a recent update, posted on 12/23/16, the Santa hat Pikachu will continue past the Holidays and will also be easier to find in the wild

Special Pikachu wearing festive hats will also be staying around a bit longer! You are more likely to find these limited-edition Pikachu during the time period of this celebration

Johto Holiday

We also have another special treat for you. Starting later today through December 29, 2016, 10:00 A.M. PST, you’ll find limited edition Pikachu all over the world. These Pikachu will be wearing a festive hat to celebrate the season!

iDigitalTimes also states you can obtain a holiday Raichu if you evolve this special Pikachu

If you evolve a Christmas Pikachu, you get a Christmas Raichu who is also wearing a Santa hat. It’s unclear if you can catch a Christmas Raichu but it seems highly likely.

  • Whoa, neat. Do they do anything special or is it just aesthetic? – Vemonus Dec 13 '16 at 18:33
  • @Vemonus I believe the hat is just cosmetic, but we will have to wait and find out! – Wondercricket Dec 13 '16 at 18:35
  • re: wild raichu - There are screenshots floating around that seem to imply wild raichu have hats. – Kevin L Dec 13 '16 at 20:29
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    Note that the main game does have a dressed-up Pikachu variant, cosplay Pikachu, which does have different moves; but this particular one doesn't seem to. – Joe Dec 13 '16 at 21:10
  • Good thing I caught six of them in an hour.... They were everywhere here in Sydney since the announcement and I have been wanting a Pikachu, however it makes me wonder if they are limited edition. I mean one out of 1000 000000 is not that limited. Oh well I guess it says so on the label(famous last words). – Namphibian Dec 14 '16 at 20:29

Niantic states the this Pikachu is a limited edition Pokemon, which some suspect mean it will keep its hat after the event is over.

Starting later today through December 29, 2016, 10:00 A.M. PST, you’ll find limited edition Pikachu all over the world. These Pikachu will be wearing a festive hat to celebrate the season!


In addition, evolving the Pikachu with the Santa hat turns it into a Raichu with a hat:

Raichu with hat


The same source for the picture also states:

Niantic refers to Christmas Pikachu as a "limited edition" Pokémon, which does suggest that you keep these forever. How else would you demonstrate that you participated in the event?

The only thing one can do is wait until December 29th to see if its still in the game. Niantic does not state that the hat has any other effects on the Pokemon.


I have at least five of those. No, it will not randomly disappear and yes, you have a special Pikachu. They can only be found until noon of December 29th.

  • Do you have a source for the 29th end date? – Riker Dec 14 '16 at 2:13
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    When you answer a question with a date/time.. please make sure you specify the timezone. Noon of December 29th means absolutely nothing to me when there is no timezone attached. – deutschZuid Dec 14 '16 at 2:51
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    Niantic's post on this specifically says December 29, 2016, 10:00 A.M. PST – Wondercricket Dec 14 '16 at 14:29

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