Updated: Apr 17
In America, we tend to think of Christmas dinner as a big roast or ham...maybe a turkey...with a ton of delicious side dishes and wine.
But in Japan, when a lot of people think of Christmas dinner, they think of KFC!
Right now you're probably like, "wait, what?!"
Yup, in Japan, people love a KFC Christmas dinner
There are a couple of rumors floating around about how this all got started.
The first one is that in the early 70's, a Japanese elementary school went to KFC to get chicken for a class Christmas party (because it so closely resembles turkey). This became a trend that caught on with other classes, and over the years, more and more schools were serving this dinner in class.
The second rumor is that foreigners in Japan were searching for turkey for their Christmas dinner, and KFC was the closest thing they could find.
Either way, in the 70's, KFC ended up actually releasing a Christmas promotion! which was probably the smartest thing they've ever done.
As Japan isn't a Christian nation and didn't have their own established Christmas traditions, the Christmas dinner that KFC began to offer kind of became one.
Every year, millions of people queue up outside of KFC's all over Japan to preorder their KFC Christmas experience. It is kind of a big deal!
There are a few different set dinner options. Some have various signature fried chicken pieces, and some have a delicious stuffed, roasted chicken (check out the options here).
A good friend helped me translate the menu. This year, the dinner also comes in a colorful bucket with a side of shrimp gratin, a pretty berry mousse cake, a plate, and even a sparkling Christmas wine! Yes, real wine!
The whole thing can run you anywhere between ¥2000 and ¥8000.
I‘ve only ever tried the KFC Christmas dinner once (in 2014), but I thought it was pretty good (I mean, for what it is). It’s definitely an experience worth having during your time in Japan. And that way, you don’t really have to cook a big dinner yourself either!
So get on out to your closest KFC and order your chicken dinner! You’ll get to see that the hype is real. Even more exciting is seeing colonel sanders dressed up like Santa clause 😂 🎅
If you can't make it out to order your KFC Christmas dinner, you can do so online here. Then you pick it up in the store. Unfortunately, availability is limited and the clock is ticking!