O’ Come all Ye Hungry:

Looking to get into the festive spirit?

Want to know why KFC is so big in Japan during Christmas?

Our infographic is on-hand to tell you more!



A wonderful part of the festive season is finding out about all the ways it’s celebrated around the corners of the globe. It’s such a diverse cultural phenomenon with many traditions that often differ extensively from our own.

Did you know that in Caracas, Venezuela, festive-goers travel on roller-blades to Church?

For Norwegians, the Christmas season coincides with the arrival of evil spirits and witches. That’s why all brooms are hidden away before they go to bed on Christmas Eve!

But were you familiar with the Japanese fixation on KFC for Christmas?

Just how did a major fast-food marketing campaign transform into a nation’s annual celebration?

Kentucky for Christmas – more than a marketing campaign

It is estimated that roughly 4 million Japanese families indulge in crispy Kentucky Fried Chicken every year – it’s a celebration that has slowly become a national phenomenon.

On 25 December, when we typically tuck into a traditional roast meal after gift-opening, you’ll find many Japanese families opting for a pre-ordered KFC bucket of yuletide chicken.

Afterall, Japan is the third largest consumer of KFC after China and the US, with the vast majority of stores operating as takeaway-only franchises.

From the early 1970s, capitalising on the absence of a fulfilling Christmas campaign, KFC Japan began running Kentucky for Christmas, a marketing campaign aiming to promote chicken as a suitable Christmas meal. The rest, of course, is history. Eating KFC during the seasonal period has transformed into an annual family ritual for millions of families across Japan.

As you can see, Christmas around the world may not all be turkeys, John Lewis ads, and chocolate puddings. Sometimes it’s buckets of crispy chicken.