What is the most popular Christmas meal in Japan? Ask the colonel. It’s no kidding, Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Come on! No fuss, no mess, just down home traditional foods that you pick up and share. What’s wrong with that?! If you’ve lived in Japan, you’ll know that the ovens can be very small and roasting a turkey might be difficult, if you can even find one! No worries, the answer is right on the corner. It’s Christmas in Japan at KFC!
As it is, Christmas dinner in Japan isn’t a huge thing. With less than 1% of the population celebrating the holiday, since December 25th is not a bank holiday, everyone has to work. Still, the Japanese love adopting American traditions, and they’ve got to eat, so why not try to be as traditional as possible and order that KFC fried chicken for Christmas dinner?
That’s right! KFC has convinced Japan that fried chicken is the traditional Christmas dinner in America, or at least they did in December of 1974. Their campaign was a massive success and they have been able to continue the “tradition” to this day. In fact, KFC officials say that it’s highest sales volume each year come from Christmas Eve.
I have asked around to see if any of my Japanese friends have partaken in the tradition. One allowed shyly that she and her mother have done so on occasion, but not every year. And, a teacher I work with admitted that her husband buys a bucket each year for their family. But not everyone is hooked, our neighbor when asked scoffed loudly and exclaimed, “Of course not! Why do you Americans all think we love KFC? I can get KFC anytime! I want other foods!”
Living in Japan, we like to try Japanese traditions, too, so we have decided to try to get a bucket of chicken for Christmas this year! The only problem…you have to order well in advance and my Japanese isn’t great, so “try” is the key word. And, why not?! When in Rome…ahem, Tokyo…
メリークリスマス or Meri-kurisumasu everybody from Japan!
Have you ever had KFC for Christmas dinner?
Author Bio: Corinne Vail is a travel photographer, food lover, and a perpetual traveler who has been travel writing for over 14 years. For many years she lived overseas in Germany, Japan, Turkey, South Korea, and the Netherlands teaching the children of the US. military. She’s visited over 90 countries, and she’s not stopping anytime soon.