Finger Lickin' Christmas in Japan where KFC chicken is yuletide tradition

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Almost every year Tokyo residents have looked forward to their 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. 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.

"Basically, I'm a regular consumer of their chicken so it's true that when I think of Christmas, the first image I have is the one of KFC that keeps coming to my mind year after year. "Hayato Yajima", an employee in finance sector said.

Tomohiro Ogawa, a student in Tokyo believes it is not "something really important". He however adds that "if I don't eat KFC chicken, I don't feel the Christmas spirit".

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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