Why KFC Is A Genuine Christmas Tradition In Japan

Who needs Santa Claus when you’ve got Colonel Sanders!

KFC recipe revealedImage Picture KFC

Christmas may not be a national holiday over in Japan but that does not mean December 25 does not come with its own unique tradition.

Like KFC for example. As bizarre as it might sound to you and I, for over four decades many Japanese families have marked the date with a delicious meal courtesy of the Colonel.

To understand this particular tradition, you have to go back to 1974 and the “Christmas Chicken” campaign or Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii, which translates as Kentucky for Christmas.

Back in the early 1970s, a group of foreigners found themselves struggling to even find turkey for their Christmas celebrations Japan, where it is next to impossible to get, and just one per cent of the population is Christian.

KFC had only been in Japan since 1970, with the first restaurant opening in Nagoya, but had quickly gained popularity and, sensing an opportunity launched the campaign.

The very first KFC Christmas meal in Japan was a fancy affair of chicken and wine, which cost around 2,920 yen or $10 at the time, according to Smithsonian.com.

Kentucky Fried Chicken or KFC

Nowadays, the meal is priced at around 3,336 yen or $40 and comes with both cake and champagne – but make sure you plan in advance.

Christmas eve is KFC’s busiest day of the year in Japan and James Cooper, founder of WhyChristmas.com, told Huffington Post Live’s Ricky Camilleri, it pays to pre-order your chicken dinner.

“To get your Christmas bucket, you have to make your reservation,” he said.

On a par with something like Valentine’s Day in the UK, Camilleri reckons there is a peaceful calm to proceedings in Japan which, when you throw in the prospect of KFC, makes loaded kind of jealous.

“Families get together and couples go for romantic walks in the evening, and you have to pre-book your KFC.”

Now you know where to spend Christmas 2017.

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Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.