It’s not often that Monday is a day worth celebrating, but this particular week beginning is special for at least one reason – today is Pokemon Day. On this very date 21 years ago, Game Freak unleashed the first pair of Pokemon games in Japan, kickstarting a craze that would ultimately evolve into one of gaming and pop culture’s most recognizable franchises. Whether you’re a diehard fan or just casually aware of the brand, it doesn’t matter – everyone can recognize the adorable face of the series’ mascot, Pikachu.
Likewise, unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year, you’ll be aware of Niantic’s mobile game Pokemon Go which, as you’d suspect, is celebrating the big day by letting loose a special version of the yellow mouse for Trainers to catch. Party Hat Pikachu, as it’s so called, is currently roaming around the augmented reality world of Pokemon Go, and, as the name would suggest, it’s a commemorative version of the ‘Mon that’s sporting headwear. The event runs until March 6, whereupon all party-loving Pikachu will revert to their usual, hatless selves, although any special variants caught will remain the same forever.
This is far from the first time that Niantic has held limited-time events for Pokemon Go. Last year, the developer celebrated Halloween in-game by increasing encounter rates of spooky critters such as Ghastly and Haunter, a formula mimicked earlier this month with the augmented reality title’s Valentine’s tie-in. Most recently, Niantic introduced over 80 new Pocket Monsters from Pokemon Gold & Silver for players to catch, some of which can only be obtained through evolution and other means.
For those still patiently awaiting the arrival of trading and expanded battling features for Pokemon Go, know that Niantic is still planning to introduce them into the mix, although when that will be is currently unknown.