holidays & recipes: christmas in japan kfc style…
Japan is not predominantly known as a Christian nation so most Christian holidays are not celebrated. However, the Christmas bug has caught on quickly. Christmas is the time of the year that lifts spirits and it truly is something to look forward to. Christmas is celebrated more like Valentine’s Day where couples opt to go out and have a fancy dinner. Others with bigger families like to celebrate it with Western influenced food. As a Westerner living in Asia, it helps make the holidays a lot more festive and easier to celebrate when being so far away from family and friends.
Though I am used to an extravagant spread for a Christmas feast that can rival a Thanksgiving dinner, in Japan, Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) has become a popular and favorite Christmas banquet of sorts. In fact, KFC is so popular during the holiday season that there is even a Col. Sanders mascot all clad in a Santa outfit. The popular American fried chicken chain has come out with an elaborate Premium Series menu that comes in party barrels or party packs just for the holiday season. Some KFC chains even have pre-orders weeks to months before Christmas.
To some people, this may seem like a joke and one may wonder how KFC became such a sought out treat for a Christmas spread when it’s considered to be regular fast food to a lot of people. This Japanese tradition can be traced back all the way to the 1970’s when an expat noticed, in a land where turkey is not as readily available, fried chicken is the next best thing. In 1974, the KFC executives had the foresight and ingenuity to create the triumphant holiday marketing campaign “Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii!” (Kentucky for Christmas!). The rest is history.
This year I have decided to join the bandwagon of having KFC for my Christmas spread. There’s nothing like “finger lickin’ good” fried chicken to fill the rumbly in the tummy. However way you celebrate Christmas, and whatever food you decide to have, it’s always wonderful to be able to spend the holidays with people you love. Have a very merry Kentucky Fried Christmas to one and all! Check out the menu! Credit: KFC Japan