Why is Pikachu wearing a Santa hat and what does it mean?

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?

Answer

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


Update

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.

Attribution
Source : Link , Question Author : Vemonus , Answer Author : Robotnik

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