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 11:38 PM EDT, Thu September 11, 2014
Whether filled with electric blue sulfur flames or hissing lava, these mega mountains offer incredible vistas
updated 8:40 PM EDT, Tue September 9, 2014
This once-a-year luxury cruise visits untouched islands and never-snorkeled reefs.
updated 9:05 AM EDT, Tue September 9, 2014
Peter J. Goutiere was just shy of 30 years old when he piloted a Douglas C-47 from Miami to Kolkata, India.
updated 6:47 PM EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
Breathtaking scenery, championship design -- many of the courses dropped into the Canadian Rockies are among the most memorable in the world.
updated 9:06 AM EDT, Tue September 2, 2014
A floating hippo in the Thames river designed by artist Florentijn Hofman
Why Florentijn Hofman is sending a giant beast into London's River Thames.
updated 12:07 PM EDT, Tue September 2, 2014
Scrap all those other bucket lists you've been compiling and start saving -- these memorable-for-a-lifetime trips don't come cheap, or easy.
updated 8:42 PM EDT, Fri September 5, 2014
A squabble over a device that limits how far a seat can recline has brought inflight etiquette into the spotlight again.
updated 6:23 AM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
Thirst for victory competes with thirst for booze in event where competitors raise their glasses long before they cross the finish line.
updated 5:57 AM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
At these fun Los Angeles bars, the the drinks come with a chaser of kitsch.
updated 4:41 PM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
From dining next to massive predators to drinking atop a rock in the middle of the ocean, Africa boasts some of the most interesting places to eat.
updated 5:21 AM EDT, Sun September 7, 2014
Just weeks after Bill HIllman, known as a veteran, expert bull runner, was badly gored in Pamplona, he's back at other smaller bull runnings in Spain, but walking with a cane.
updated 12:54 PM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
Don't like the country you live in? Why not create your own, as many people have done. We uncover the parallel world of "micronationalism."
updated 9:24 PM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
A CNN producer experiences China's poor on-time flight record firsthand as his plane takes off eight hours late.
updated 2:00 AM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
New Yorker Kerrin Rousset's exploration of Swiss city aims to lure cocoa fans over to the dark side.
updated 11:47 PM EDT, Tue September 2, 2014
Some things are just better after dark. These experiences around the world prove it.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT