Children the world over can breathe a sigh of relief – Santa Claus is on his way.
The jolly old elf and his team of flying reindeer have left the North Pole for their Christmas Eve journey to deliver toys, officials at NORAD have confirmed.
NORAD, or North American Aerospace Defence Command, is tracking Santa’s flight as he makes his way around the globe, providing up-to-the minute coverage on his location.
The results are being posted throughout the day on NORAD’s Santa Tracker website, www.noradsanta.org, where you can also watch the number of gifts delivered add up in real time.
It’s easy to find out where he’s been and where’s he’s headed for next.
You can also follow Santa’s progress on Twitter, using the hashtag #NORAD.
NORAD is a U.S./Canadian military organization that monitors North American airspace.
For more than 50 years, NORAD, and its precursor, the Continental Air Defense Command, have tracked Santa’s flight.
Thanks to a misprint in a department store ad in 1955, children dialing Santa’s hotline were mistakenly put through to the CONAD Commander-in-Chief’s operations centre.
Col. Harry Shoup, the director of operations, seized on the opportunity, directing staff to answer calls with an update on Santa’s progress. A tradition was born.
Now, volunteers staff call centres, fielding around 70,000 phone calls from 200 countries each Christmas Eve.
The Santa tracker has Twitter, Facebook and Youtube accounts.
The photo below shows Santa at 9:27 p.m. PST, flying overtop of Indianapolis, Indiana:
The videos below, taken from NORAD Santa’s YouTube page, show Mr. Kringle at a couple worldwide landmarks, like the Sydney Opera House and India’s Taj Mahal: