Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Giant blowup Santa doll poses like Marilyn Monroe

By CNN Travel staff
updated 6:44 AM EST, Fri December 13, 2013
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
updated 6:26 PM EST, Sun November 16, 2014
Take a trip to the Chinese town that has more relics than people.
updated 12:42 PM EST, Thu November 13, 2014
You know about reggae and Usain Bolt -- but you probably aren't aware of these other Jamaican superlatives.
updated 6:52 AM EST, Fri November 14, 2014
Artist creates brilliant tribute to Dutch impressionist painter -- a cycle route that glows in the dark
updated 1:33 AM EST, Fri November 14, 2014
European airlines beware: These 320kph trains are upping the travel game with roomy seats and onboard wi-fi.
updated 5:53 AM EST, Thu November 13, 2014
For such a relatively small collection of islands, the UK packs in an phenomenal range of beautiful scenery.
updated 5:37 PM EST, Wed November 12, 2014
Animals run behind the Rovos Rail train's observation balcony in Africa.
Rovos Rail's epic trips out of South Africa pamper passengers with fine dining, vintage comfort and even a bathtub.
updated 8:37 PM EST, Mon November 17, 2014
Nasir al-mulk Mosque, Shiraz, Iran
Self-taught Iranian photographer gains rare access to shoot religious buildings as they've never been seen.
updated 10:45 PM EST, Mon November 10, 2014
The subject of erotica has a way of making people uncomfortable.
updated 7:37 PM EST, Thu November 6, 2014
A
UK's Heathrow Airport pairs destinations with fragrances to evoke long distance travel. We do too.
updated 4:00 PM EST, Thu November 6, 2014
Bumper cars, a freefall simulator and robot bartenders are just a few of the cool features on Royal Caribbean's new Quantum of the Seas.
updated 5:58 PM EST, Sun November 2, 2014
Up in the mountains and across deep chasms, these bridges are both spectacular and terrifying.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT