How KFC became a Christmas tradition in Japan

(CNN) — Almost every year since she was a child, Hokkaido resident Naomi has looked forward to her family’s traditional Christmas meal: a KFC “party barrel” brimming with salad, cake and lots of fried chicken.
“In Japan, it is customary to eat chicken at Christmas,” says the 30-something Japanese woman.
“Every year, I order the party barrel and enjoy it with my family. I like the delicious chicken and the cute picture plate that comes with it as a bonus.”
Naomi, who asked only to be identified by her first name, and her family are far from the only Japanese residents who enjoy KFC for Christmas dinner.
Every year since the mid-1980s, life-size Colonel Sanders statues — dressed as Santa during the holiday — have welcomed droves of locals and tourists alike across the country.
According to figures released by the American fast-food chain, KFC Japan pulled in 6.9 billion yen (roughly US$63 million) from December 20 to 25 in 2018, with lines out the door starting on December 23.

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