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Christmas in Japan
Christmas in Japan
Image: Rumpleteaser/Flickr

In Japan, KFC is at the heart of Christmas festivities

Colonel Sanders is coming to town.
Dec 23rd 2015, 5:00 PM 10,960 21

AS FAR AS bizarre Christmas traditions go this has to rank pretty highly.

In Far East Asia, one country has KFC right at the heart of the festive season.

While over here we all might be tucking into turkey and ham, in Japan the preferred meal option is a chicken bucket meal.

But just what is it that makes the country place the fast-food outlet at the centre of its festivities?

Colonel Sanders > Santa Claus 

Most of this is connected to the fact that Japan isn’t a Christian country, and Christmas isn’t a national holiday.

Back in the early 1970s, the American fast-food outlet saw that foreigners were not able to find turkey meat in the country, and in lieu of it decided to opt for fried chicken.

Capitalising on this, the company launched its Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii! (Kentucky for Christmas!) advertisement that gave the fast-food restaurant its place in the holiday celebrations.

Source: Ruptly TV/YouTube

Along with its advertising campaign the restaurant began marketing a Christmas meal that included wine in the offering.

The company has said that it sells as much chicken on 23, 24 and 25 of December than it does during half of a regular month.

Source: ケンタッキーフライドチキン 公式YouTubeチャンネル/YouTube

Now it is not uncommon to see queues of people waiting to get into the outlets on Christmas day, with many even pre-ordering their meals.

Back in 2010 the Financial Times even reported that other fast-food outlets were attempting to muscle their way into the lucrative Christmas tradition.

Read: Yes, it’s that time of year again – Christmas FM is back and here’s where you can hear it

Also: Your property tax is being frozen until 2019

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Michael Sheils McNamee


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