February 27 is Pokemon’s birthday, so naturally there’s a big event scheduled to celebrate.
Our obsession with the pocket monsters has been kept alive thanks to Niantic’s addictive monster-catching mobile game, which has become an international phenomenon since it launched in 2016 and has now been downloaded over a billion times.
It has kept its user-base active with a constant series of events, updates and upgrades – there were 150 creatures available to capture when the game launched and now that number is more like 500.
Pokemon Day will feature a bunch of rare Pokemon and other perks for players to get their hands on – here’s everything we know.
What is Pokemon Day?
Pokemon Day honours the day in which the original Gameboy games, Pokemon Green (or Blue in the UK) and Red were released in Japan back in 1996.
From those humble, handle-held beginnings, Pokemon has gone on to become the highest-grossing media franchise of all time, raking in an estimated £70 billion over the years thanks to the games, movies, TV series and other products.
When is the Pokemon Day event on?
Rather than just celebrating the day itself, Niantec have decided to devote an entire week to the anniversary of Pokemon Go’s launch.
Events have been scheduled from 9pm GMT on Tuesday 25 February until 9pm GMT on Monday 2 March.
What does it involve?
For the duration of the Pokemon Day celebrations, players will be able to perform two Special Trades per day – ideal for those with big plans involving tactical swaps.
Beyond that, there’s loads of special content to commemorate the day:
To tie in with the new Pokemon movie, Mewtwo Strikes Back, arriving on Netflix, players will get the chance to catch Armour Mewtwo.
Being one of the most powerful and exclusive Pokemon in existence, Armour Mewtwo will only appear in 5-star raids. As a bonus, it will now come with the psychic-type Charged attack, Psystrike.
Pikachu fans would be advised to use the #GOSnapshot feature during the event – there’s a chance that Clone Pikachu will turn up in your photo, giving you the chance to catch one.
Also available will be clone versions of Charizard, Venusaur and Blastoise - all of whom appeared in the original Pokemon movie. 4 star raids will give you the chance to get your hands on one of them during the event.
Since it’s a party, the Pokemon themselves will be showing up with their very own party hats. You’ll be able to catch party hat-wearing versions of the series’ beloved yellow mascot, Pikachu and the highly versatile Eevee, both out in the wild and from eggs.
Also appearing via 1-star raids and 7km eggs will be hatted version of the original Pokemon game’s three starters Pokemon – Charmander, Squirtle and Bulbasaur.
On Sunday 1 March, between 2pm and 5pm, there will be a special Raid Day event featuring brand new, party hat-wearing versions of Nidorino and Gengar. Both Pokemon have shiny versions which will be appearing as well.
Why those two? Well, if you cast your mind back to the original Gameboy games, Blue and Red, those were the two creatures you saw battling in the opening cinematic.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, The i.