Get on board with National Pokemon Day and have a blast celebrating this nostalgic group of games featuring delightful characters!
History of National Pokemon Day
Marking the anniversary of the Japanese release of Pokémon Red and Green on February 27, 1996, this day is a favorite for fans of the franchise. The game was developed by Game Freak and released by Nintendo to be played on the Game Boy. Featuring collectible pocket monsters, the game was first released in Japan as “Pocket Monsters: Red” and “Pocket Monsters: Green”, which were then followed up later in the year by the special edition of “Pocket Monsters: Blue”.
As far as the celebrations of National Pokemon Day are concerned, the Pokémon Company always seems to have a bunch of treats lined up for fans in celebration of this day each year–from Snapchat filters to figurines and everything in between!
In 2018, the Pokemon Company announced several new products and features for its annual holiday, including the U.S. release of the “Pikachu Talk” app for Amazon’s Alexa devices and Google Home devices.
Also teaming up with Snapchat, the company decided to release three new Snapchat lenses featuring the classic Pokemon Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle. Bulbasaur was released first, followed by Charizard and Squirtle. Each lens features a Pokemon sitting in the bottom corner of the post, along with a halo-like effect around a Snapchatter’s head.
Starting February 2020, the company arranged for fans to be able to vote for the “Pokémon of the Year”, which allowed fans to choose their favorite characters from each category. That year, Greninja won overall, while the Charizard won from the Kanto region and Johto won from the Umbreon region.
Then, by 2021 excited fans were keen to celebrate the game’s 25th anniversary. Events included hosting a virtual concert with rapper Post Malone, special PokemonTV programs, other special activities in Los Angeles, California, and the release of a new Nintendo Switch game, called Pokemon Snap.
Plus, in celebration of the 25th anniversary, the Pokémon franchise teamed up with the Levi’s brand to release a special edition line of 90’s inspired clothing including Pokemon character inspired denim jackets, jeans, jeans shorts, hoodies, t-shirts and more.
National Pokemon Day Timeline
Satoshi Tajiri starts a gaming magazine
With his friend and illustrator, Ken Sugimori, Satoshi starts “Game Freak” gaming magazine, which will eventually become a video gaming company in 1989.
Pokémon is released in Japan
Originally named Pocket Monsters: Red and Green, the Gameboy games are finished in late 1995 and released to the public in late February 1996. The popularity is increased by releasing two games together instead of just a single title.
Pokémon is released in the US and Australia
After becoming popular in Japan, the American release of Pokémon comes two years later. It is at this time that the name Pocket Monsters is shortened to Pokémon.
Pokémon Go is released
Entering the world of Augmented Reality (AR), Pokémon Go is released as a mobile app to be used on smartphones. It becomes one of the most used, as well as one of the most profitable, apps of this year.
Pokémon celebrates 25th anniversary
In addition to releasing new games, like Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, in honor of the day Nintendo also arranges for events that include big names like rapper Post Malone and Katy Perry. McDonald’s also gets involved with trading cards in Happy Meals.
How to Celebrate National Pokemon Day
Whether a diehard fan of Pokémon for many years or new to the adventure, this day has many opportunities for enjoyment and fun! Try out these ideas for celebrating National Pokemon Day, or come up with some creative celebrations of your own:
Host a National Pokemon Day Party
Invite friends who are also fans to gather for a National Pokemon Day party where tons of fun Pikachu and Ash Ketchum adventures can be enjoyed. Hook up a Nintendo Switch gaming system and get ready for friends to have a great time playing. Don’t forget to have everyone dress up in a costume as their favorite character from the game!
Of course, snacks and decorations for the party should be Pokémon-themed. In addition to playing Pokémon video games, other activities for kids might include Pin the Tail on the Pikachu, a Catch ‘Em All game with hidden colorful balls (like an Easter Egg hunt) or making a papercraft of Pikachu ears. So much fun is ready to be explored!
Make Some National Pokemon Day Themed Snacks
Whether hosting a party or just taking some treats into the office to share with coworkers, fun culinary adventures can be explored in honor of the day. Food and snacks can be creatively themed around the Pokémon characters, including recipes for ideas like these:
- Poké Ball Pizza. It’s simple to turn a standard homemade pizza into something special by making it into a Poké Ball. On a round pizza, make the lines and small circle down the middle of the ‘Poké Ball’ with black olives, placing cheese on the top of one side and pepperoni on the top of the other side. Bake and enjoy!
- Bulbasaur Cake. A creative baker can shape a cake into this adorable Pokémon character. The legs and bulb can be made from formed rice crispy treats and the whole thing covered in blue-green fondant icing.
- Poké Ball Cookies. With the same idea as Poké Ball Pizza, decorate round cookies with white on one side, red on the other, and use a black icing in a piping bag to make a circle in the middle and lines on each side.
Play Pokémon Go
Although the summer of 2016 ushered it in as a huge fad, the game Pokémon Go is still as fun as ever and can be enjoyed alone or in groups. This simplified version of the game can be played as an App on a smartphone. Although there isn’t as much buzz around the game as there was a few years ago, it is still ranked as one of the leading mobile games in the world and live events are even sometimes held (i.e. Go Fest).
The game continues to evolve and provide new adventures as participants get outside to search for special and rare characters to add to their collections. Pokémon items can even be traded with friends, whether competing against them or playing on a team with them. Some people really enjoy the fact that they can dress up their avatars in costumes!
Serve Pokémon Cocktails
Get into the spirit of the day by serving and enjoying a variety of fun colored cocktails that are inspired by the various characters. Or, if the party is filled with kids, feel free to make them into cute mock-tails without alcohol. Try these out, or get creative and make up some new ones:
- Squirtle Squad Shot. Channeling the blue-green color of the Squirtle Squad, this delicious drink can be made by combining ⅓ shot each of three different ingredients: spiced rum, coconut rum and blue curacao. A chaser of pineapple juice is a delicious finale for this one.
- The Pikachu Martini (Pika-tini). Brightly colored yellow follows the color of the character who inspired this drink. Make it using mango puree, mango Absolut vodka, Campari and grenadine. Layering the liquids makes a fun yellow and red presentation. Garnish with a maraschino cherry and a triangle slice of mango (as a nod to Pikachu’s ears).
- The Fire Breather. Originally depicted as large clowns, these characters spew flames out of their mouths. Make this drink using a shot of Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey, a bit of grenadine, a shot of Bacardi rum and ginger beer.
- Jiggly Puff Pina Colada. Made with fresh fruit (pineapple and strawberries) as well as white rum, coconut milk, lime juice, orange juice and Coco Lopez, this blended drink is an absolutely delicious dessert-like treat with a tropical island flair.
No matter which generation a person became a fan or which starter Pokémon got someone going on their first adventure, it can all be celebrated and appreciated on this day, National Pokemon Day!
National Pokemon Day FAQs
What is Pokémon?
Pokémon is a video game brand that is part of the Nintendo family of games. It features a variety of little monsters who live in the wild with human characters.
When is National Pokémon Day?
Celebrated on February 27 of each year, National Pokémon Day is observed on this day because it is the anniversary of the release of the first Pocket Monsters Gameboy games in 1996.
How does Pokémon Go work?
Pokémon Go is an Augmented Reality (AR) game in which users walk throughout the real world and then discover Pokémon characters appearing on the map. The goal is to “catch” as many as possible by throwing Poké balls at them.
What are Pokémon cards?
Pokémon cards are trading cards that kids collect. They feature the different characters from the Pokémon video games and the goal is to build up a powerful deck of characters that allows the player to win battles.
What are Pokémon Community Days?
These fun days happen once a month and are linked with the Pokémon Go game. Pokémon Community Days happen worldwide and allow trainers to meet up in local places, like parks, and get to know each other.