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Top Christmas Traditions – KFC in Japan!

Top Christmas Traditions – KFC in Japan!
December 16
08:00 2015


What we see of Christmas is only what is celebrated here in the UK and the United States – Christmas traditions change from nation to nation, with some countries celebrating the holidays in a very different manner to what we’re used to. One thing remains the same about Christmas, no matter where in the world it’s being celebrated – it is the most wonderful time of the year.

Let’s take a look at some of the various ways people spend the holiday season in different parts of the world:


Germans have their main Christmas celebration on the 24th – Christmas Eve is when the gifts are given and received. They have no less than three Christmas dinners, with a different meal on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. On the 6th of December is Nikolaustag – St Nicholas’ Day – when children leave a shoe outside their door, in the hopes that Saint Nick leaves some sweets or toys for them. If they’ve been bad, however, they’ll just receive a twig… as a symbol of a spanking.

Christmas Traditions from Around the World


Christmas is not a national holiday in Japan, as it’s not a traditionally Christian country, but celebrating it has become popular, especially with couples spending time together and exchanging small gifts.

Rather bizarrely, eating KFC is a Christmas tradition in Japan. No one is entirely sure how it started, but it’s believed that an American in the ‘70s had KFC for his Christmas dinner as it was the closest thing he could find to turkey. In a bit of marketing genius, KFC has capitalised on this, and these days you have to order your KFC Christmas meal (with champagne!) well in advance.

Christmas Traditions from Around the World

The Netherlands

The Dutch also hold the 6th of December in high regard; this is the day they celebrate Christmas. Children here eagerly await the arrival of Sinterklaas and his pal Zwarte Piet (Black Pete). Young boys and girls leave out their shoes in anticipation – if they are filled with hay and sugar for Sinterklaas’ horse, the kids can expect a nice selection of sweets and nuts as a reward.

Christmas Traditions from Around the World


The people of Greenland have a Christmas dinner that would be unrecognisable to us. Gone are the Christmas puddings, gone is the turkey, gone are the pigs in blankets, sprouts and cranberry sauce. Instead, the main order of the day is kiviak. This is raw auk meat that has been wrapped in seal skin and left to decompose for a few months. It’s a Christmas delicacy in Greenland, alongside mattak – whale skin with a strip of blubber.


The capital city of Venezuela is Caracas, and here they have a nice tradition on the 24th of December each year – during the morning, all of the roads in the city are closed to cars, allowing everyone to rollerskate together to Christmas mass. And instead of the gifts being brought by Santa Claus or Father Christmas, it’s the baby Jesus who does the delivering in Venezuela.

About Author

Tom Rokins

Tom Rokins

Tom is a passionate traveller and experienced writer. He speaks fluent German, and is at his happiest when travelling around Europe.


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