If you visit Japan during the holiday season, you may think, "Alright! Where I can find the Japanese candy?" and search for some awesome holiday themed Japanese candy. However, you might be surprised by what other food is celebrated in Japan during the holiday season! KFC! Yes, the Kentucky Fried Chicken. It might seem like an odd tradition, but while we love snacking on Japanese snacks while listening to music, we also have come to enjoy doing so with KFC and Christmas tunes!
Christmas is celebrated in many ways in Japan, but the KFC Christmas Chicken is one tradition that is thought of as odd by many. Why did it start, you wonder? Well, lets discuss that below!
Many people in Japan don't think of Japanese candy when they imagine the holiday season. What does come to mind however is Christmas Chicken! Every year Japanese billboards, TVs, newspapers, and more are filled to the brim with ads informing people that Christmas Chicken reservations have begun! Spots usually are completely full with a few weeks. This has been a tradition for years, but when did this start?
It all started with a marketing campaign in 1974 when some foreigners visiting Japan couldn't find turkey and opted to use KFC instead for a holiday meal!
The exotic feeling of American chicken and the simple message, "Christmas = Kentucky", all alongside a major commercial ad campaign, pushed this Christmas Chicken tradition to the height it is at today!
Ever since the Christmas Chicken campaign started in 1974, major celebrities and other influential figures have chowed down on the ever popular drum stick to celebrate this Christmas chicken!
Other food chains in Japan also take part in the Christmas Chicken celebrations as well. For example, Japanese hamburger chain MOS Burger also has many Christmas chicken sets or buckets just for the holiday season! The Colonel's Christmas present for Japan is chicken for all!
So, we hope this shed a little bit of light as to why Christmas=Kentucky and not Japanese candy for many people in Japan! While we can't stick a bucket of chicken into your Japanese snack box, you can always head out to your closest KFC on Christmas day to snag a bucket of chicken to join the chicken festivities!
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