Why Does Japan Associate Christmas With KFC?
Have you ever wondered how Japanese people celebrate Christmas? After all, Christmas is not a national holiday, and less than once percent of the population are Christians. Nevertheless, Christmas has had a huge impact in Japan with a big exception when compared to other countries that celebrate this holiday: there is absolutely no religion attached to the concept. As a result, Christmas has become a festive time of the year where Japanese people can go shopping, exchange gifts, enjoy Christmas lights and decorations, and have elegant dinners at luxurious restaurants without ever thinking of the religious aspects behind the holiday.
Christmas in Japan is a whole different concept, there is a tradition that many people overseas would find crazy and it concerns Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC):
Over the past years, one of the many Christmas customs that can be found in Japan is celebrating the holiday with a huge bucket of KFC. Every winter, around the 23rd of December, Colonel Sanders will appear dressed up as Santa Claus, drawing enormous crowds thanks to the so called Party Barrel offer. Party Barrel being, of course, Japan’s version of the KFC Bucket.
As a result, KFC’s sales in December tend to be twice as high as those of other months. Unlucky customers who opted to buy one of these KFC buckets on December 24 at big locations, such as the ones in Shinjuku, can end up waiting two hours for their Christmas fried chicken.
People are willing to wait two hours for Kentucky Fried Chicken. That’s a level of commitment to this tradition that anyone outside Japan would find absolutely astonishing. KFC is a fast food chain, and fast food chains usually do not get this kind of attention unless they are the first ones to open in a specific market, creating a quick craze that eventually fades and dies.
Stay tuned for Part 2! Thank you for reading my blog.