Page last updated at 09:35 GMT, Wednesday, 24 December 2008

China unveils 'biggest Santa'


A giant Father Christmas made of ice, which is claimed to be the world's biggest Santa has been unveiled in China.

The 525 ft long sculpture is the centrepiece at the world-renowned ice festival in the northern city of Harbin, where temperatures drop to below minus 35 degrees Celsius in the winter months.

But sculptor Tang Guangjun said unseasonably warm temperatures and hazardous conditions had made it very difficult to carve the figure, which centres on an enormous face of Father Christmas, complete with flowing beard and hat.

An estimated 800,000 tourists from around China are expected to visit the festival, which traditionally runs from mid-December to early February.


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