Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Giant blowup Santa doll poses like Marilyn Monroe

By CNN Travel staff
December 13, 2013 -- Updated 1144 GMT (1944 HKT)
Nothing screams "Christmas" quite like a wide-mouthed blowup Santa doll doing his best Marilyn Monroe "Seven Year Itch" impression. This beauty sits outside a mall in Taiyuan, the capital of China's northern Shanxi province. Nothing screams "Christmas" quite like a wide-mouthed blowup Santa doll doing his best Marilyn Monroe "Seven Year Itch" impression. This beauty sits outside a mall in Taiyuan, the capital of China's northern Shanxi province.
HIDE CAPTION
Santa's sartorial hitch
Boxers or briefs, Santa?
Finding Christmas cheer with beer
Lighting up in Beijing
Regular trees too
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Santa Claus doll outside China shopping mall imitates Marilyn Monroe's famous "Seven Year Itch" pose
  • In China, Santa Claus is referred to as "Christmas Old Man"
  • Christmas is not a public holiday in China, so all businesses and schools remain open

(CNN) -- So this is Christmas. A coquettish Santa Claus, rocking a sexy version of his traditional red suit while doing his best Marilyn Monroe "Seven Year Itch" pose.

The wide-mouthed blowup doll was erected outside a mall in Taiyuan, the capital of China's northern Shanxi province, to appeal to shoppers and tourists.

Santa Monroe's face, like some other displays around the world, isn't entirely what the holiday season is all about and certainly rather extreme.

China isn't Germany, for example -- a country in which you'd expect to find yourself caught up in the Christmas spirit.

But not unlike other parts of the world, every November many shopping malls, hotels, restaurants and other commercial venues across China coat themselves in a sugary sweet layer of beautiful and occasionally unusual trees, festive light displays and other holiday kitsch.

MORE: Are there too many 'German' Christmas markets?

And they can come by the decorations cheap thanks to the Chinese city of Yiwu, often called "The Christmas Capital of the World" for the high number of factories producing holiday decorations that are exported globally.

Though there are reports Christianity is on the rise in China, it wouldn't be accurate to say most ordinary Chinese equate Christmas with religion or the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. It's not a public holiday in China so all businesses and schools remain open on December 25.

That hasn't stopped many locals from buying into the gift giving and party traditions of the season.

It's a trend retail outlets are more than happy to cater to, piping Christmas music through speakers and laying on the tinsel to get shoppers in the mood to spend.

If you really want to enjoy the season, there's no Christmas theme but China's most wintery attraction is the annual Harbin Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival.

Though it doesn't officially kick off until January 5, many of the displays go up in mid-December and are open for visitors.

MORE: 10 most Christmassy destinations on the planet

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 0256 GMT (1056 HKT)
Journals, luggage tags, Panama hats? Yawn. We've got a selection of gifts travelers will actually use.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 1226 GMT (2026 HKT)
Global events, new attractions and anniversary celebrations will put these destinations on travel radars next year. Question is, which one(s) to visit?
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1248 GMT (2048 HKT)
Of all Christmas traditions out there, one has an All-American pedigree: electric Christmas tree lights.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 0251 GMT (1051 HKT)
The gateway to Japan's capital, Tokyo Station, is celebrating its centennial this month -- and it's never looked better.
December 17, 2014 -- Updated 1004 GMT (1804 HKT)
.
Looking for snow porn? This helicopter ski adventure will fly you into the Coast Mountains for the freshest runs.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1519 GMT (2319 HKT)
From Singapore to Norway, there are plenty of reasons to plan your next trip around a fabulous hotel opening its doors next year.
December 17, 2014 -- Updated 0925 GMT (1725 HKT)
Step aside Mount Everest, this mountain country is home to cool cafes, crazy drinks and ancient Buddhist tradition.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 1056 GMT (1856 HKT)
Nonprofit Ethical Traveler has released its annual list of the developing countries doing the most to promote human rights and preserve their environments.
December 11, 2014 -- Updated 1036 GMT (1836 HKT)
These waterfront watering holes have killer ocean views, creative drinks and the mahalo vibe we demand.
December 10, 2014 -- Updated 2038 GMT (0438 HKT)
Can't wait to book your ticket to Indianapolis and Oakland? The venerable guidebook is right there with you
December 10, 2014 -- Updated 0625 GMT (1425 HKT)
By helicopter, snowmobile and big-wheel truck across some of the world's most volatile landscapes.
December 9, 2014 -- Updated 2142 GMT (0542 HKT)
Construction begins on a new Singapore airport complex that could make delays and layovers a pleasure.
December 9, 2014 -- Updated 1441 GMT (2241 HKT)
Inflight chatterboxes are annoying but they're not the worst violators of onboard etiquette, according to an Expedia study.
ADVERTISEMENT