With Christmas on the horizon, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) has once again launched its real-time Santa tracker.
NORAD is a joint security service run by the Canadian Armed Forces and U.S. military, and generally monitors for threats to North American airspace 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
On Christmas Eve however, NORAD is tasked with an additional mission: “Tracking Santa Claus as he makes his way across the globe, delivering presents to children.”
Families can visit the NORAD Tracks Santa website for live updates on where Father Christmas is across the globe.
The website also includes a holiday countdown, games, music, videos, and more.
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The NORAD Santa Tracker first launched a whopping 68 years ago, when a U.S. Air Force colonel in Colorado received a call from a child thinking they were phoning Santa Claus.
The U.S. military soon learned that there had been a misprint in a newspaper department store ad that listed their number as Santa’s workshop, and that year, in 1955, a duty officer was assigned to keep answering the phones as Santa.
After that, the Santa tracking tradition began.
“NORAD defends North America by using complementary, multi-domain defence capabilities, including military aircraft, radars and satellites. These capabilities and assets also enable NORAD to accompany Santa as he travels through Canada and the United States on December 24th,” said Canada’s National Defence Minister, Bill Blair, in a statement on Dec. 22.
“When we encounter Santa, it’s always a friendly occasion—Santa smiles and waves back,” he added.
The NORAD Tracks Santa website is available in nine languages, including English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Chinese and Korean.
With files from the Associated Press