Akira Toriyama's Dragon Ball franchise has been running for over three decades at this point, and the series is such a juggernaut that fans have developed all sorts of running in jokes and celebrations over the years. This includes the special fan holiday that celebrates Goku in particular, May 9th. But you might be wondering why May 9th has been deemed as "Goku Day" (or as "Piccolo Day" instead depending on who you ask). As it turns out, this fan holiday has actually gotten an official seal of approval from Japan.
A few years ago as part of the celebration of Dragon Ball's 30th Anniversary, the Japan Anniversary Association officially recognized May 9th as "Goku Day" in Japan. The numbers 5 and 9 can be read in Japanese as "Go" and "Ku respectively, so Toei had applied to the association to get this special day commemorated just for the Dragon Ball star.
May 9th also has ties to the original series as well, but not when it comes to Goku specifically. The reason some fans tend to celebrate "Piccolo Day" instead is that when King Piccolo was attacking the Earth in the original Dragon Ball series, he declared that May 9th was Piccolo Day. This joke was potentially made due to the "Goku" sound of May 9th, but who would have guessed that it would be recognized as a holiday years later!
Goku has come a long way in the last few years, and now there's a mystery as to where the icon will go next. Although the anime currently shows no signs of returning to TV as of this writing, the franchise continues to live on through the Dragon Ball Super manga. It's here that Goku has been challenged to fight a villain stronger than ever before, and is also closer to reaching the peak of his Ultra Instinct state.
Piccolo unfortunately hasn't come as far, but he has made some significant strides in the series. But like how it's official recognized as Goku Day, Piccolo will have to make due with being celebrated in the shadows by dedicated fans of the fighter. How are you celebrating Goku Day? Are you celebrating Piccolo Day instead? Did you even know that it was a special Dragon Ball holiday? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or talk to me directly about all things anime and other cool stuff @Valdezology on Twitter!