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Pokemon Day 2020: Zarude revealed, new Max Raids in Sword and Shield, and party hats in Pokemon Go

Pokemon Day 2020
(Image credit: Pokemon Company / Nintendo)

Pokemon Day 2020 is in full swing, and there's a whole host of exciting Pokemon-related festivities for you to enjoy. 

Pokemon Day celebrates Pokemon Red and Green, which were originally released in Japan 24 years ago. This special anniversary takes place on February 27and this year's version has seen a new Pokemon introduced in Sword and Shield: Zarude (opens in new tab).

It also sees the official release of the new Pokemon movie, Pokemon: Mewtwo Strikes Back - Evolution on Netflix. The film is a CGI remake of the very first animated Pokemon movie.

But the celebrations don't stop there. There's also some special events and additions to Pokemon Go (opens in new tab) and Pokemon Sword and Shield (opens in new tab), with timed celebrations that see some exciting Pokemon make an appearance.

So without further ado, here's everything you need to know about this most momentous Pokemon occasion. 

Pokemon Day 2020 in Pokemon Sword and Shield

Zarude has been unveiled as a the new Mythical Pokemon appearing in Pokemon Sword and Shield. He's a rogue monkey, and according to a press release sent by the Pokemon Company, he "can’t be encountered in regular gameplay." We can't wait to monkey the mischievous monkey Zarude in Galar, even if we don't quite know how to yet...

This new addition to the Pokemon Sword and Shield Legendaries (opens in new tab) will also star in the new upcoming Pokemon Movie Coco (opens in new tab). The film, which currently doesn't have a western release date, is set to debut in Japan on July 10. Currently the mystery Pokemon is still merely a silhouette (opens in new tab), but we'll be keeping our eyes firmly peeled for the big reveal today. 

We've already seen some exciting Gigantamax additions to Max Raid Battles, with the likes of Toxtricity making an appearance with an Amped Form showing up in Pokemon Sword and Low Key Form in Pokemon Shield until March 9. Alongside the absolute unit of a Pokemon, Gigantamax Grimmsnarl, Kingler, Orbeetle, and Hatterene are also appearing in Max Raid Battles for a limited time. 

Most excitingly of all, though, the special celebration brings the original Kanto starters Squirtle, Bulbasaur, and Charmander to Max Raids until March 2. But that's not all, Mewtwo is now appearing (opens in new tab) to mark the occasion. As exciting as it is to see Mewtwo in Sword and Shield, it's important to note that you won't actually be able to try and catch the legendary Pokemon, but you will net yourself some rewards for defeating it, including PP Max and Ability Capsules. 

Pokemon Day 2020 in Pokemon Go

Armored Mewtwo has already begun appearing in Pokemon Go in celebration of Pokemon Day and the release of Pokemon: Mewtwo Strikes Back - Evolution.  

Special clones of Venusaur, Charizard, and Blastoise in Raids are also making an appearance and there may be clone Pikachu popping up in photos you take in the game. Most importantly, however, is the chance to run into Pikachu and Eevee wearing party hats in the wild, and Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle donning the same attire and hatching from 7 km eggs. You'll also be able to complete two special trades with friends.

Pokémon Day Indigo League Marathon

Tune into Twitch for a marathon run of Pokemon's first season, Indigo League. Thursday, 2/27 runs through episodes 1-39, while Friday, February 28 airs episodes 40-78 until midnight PT/ 3am ET / 8am GMT (Saturday).

Stay tuned for more news on Pokemon Day 2020, as we'll update this page regularly.

Want to stay up to date with all of the latest releases on Nintendo's console? Here are all of the best upcoming Switch games (opens in new tab).

Alyssa Mercante is an editor and features writer at GamesRadar based out of Brooklyn, NY. Prior to entering the industry, she got her Masters's degree in Modern and Contemporary Literature at Newcastle University with a dissertation focusing on contemporary indie games. She spends most of her time playing competitive shooters and in-depth RPGs and was recently on a PAX Panel about the best bars in video games. In her spare time Alyssa rescues cats, practices her Italian, and plays soccer.