Though your idea of a Christmas dinner might be a big ham, cranberry sauce, and potatoes, this is not the case in Japan.
Over the last four decades, KFC has managed to make fried chicken synonymous with Christmas in the country.
An estimated 3.6 million Japanese families eat KFC during the Christmas season, reported the BBC. Millions of people weather long lines to order fried chicken weeks in advance to carry on the tradition.
Since only about 1% to 2% of the Japanese population is Christian, the country didn't have many established Christmas traditions.
KFC helped build secular and commercial traditions with the simple message: "At Christmas, you eat chicken.
An uneventful foreigner wanted a good old turkey dinner while working in Japan in the Christmas of 1974, and unable to locate the sacred bird, he opted out for the yard bird from KFC. Thus, the tradition of devouring KFC during Christmas time began with his story being advertised throughout Japan over many years. Consequently, the KFC Christmas combo in Japan was KFC’s best advertisement campaign, with its success apparent today.
The KFC Christmas is largely thanks to Takeshi Okawara, who managed the first KFC in Japan. Often, there will be extremely long lines of people waiting to get chicken meals from the Kentucky restaurant if they don’t have their meals pre-ordered.
After the first KFC opened in Japan in 1970, Okawara had an idea to sell a chicken meal called the party barrel inspired by the traditional Christmas dinner of turkey. He then substituted the turkey with fried chicken.
Any salesman worth his salt will find a way to make something underwhelming and unordinary and turn it into novelty that the population with eat up. In this case, the Japanese people ate up crispy chicken in the name of all things Christmas.