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One of the world’s quirkier holiday traditions is now upon us. Every December 24, thousands and thousands of people in Japan leave the house and head to Kentucky Fried Chicken for the traditional Christmas Eve meal:
Yes, that Kentucky Fried Chicken. KFC is so popular in Japan on Christmas Eve that there are often lines stretching down the block outside stores. Some people reserve their KFC “Christmas Party Barrels” up to two months in advance so as not to miss out. A party barrel goes for ¥4,090, or $38, and includes a Christmas cake.
Having grown up in Tokyo, I can confirm that this is a real phenomenon. It’s not uncommon to see celebrity-filled commercials reminding people to pre-order their holiday chicken buckets. KFC officials have said they sell more chicken in Japan on December 23, 24, and 25 than they do in half a regular month.