Santa Claus undergoes his annual sleigh ride journey around the world to distribute presents on Christmas Eve. Kids and adults worldwide will be keen to know his whereabouts throughout the day.
Celebrating the 66th anniversary of the Santa tracking tradition this year, NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command), a joint air defense effort between the U.S. and Canada, has been tracking the flight location of Santa on Christmas Eve since the 1950s.
Where Santa Is Now
Santa’s latest location can be tracked via the NORAD Tracks Santa website, which is available in eight languages, including English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Japanese, Chinese and Portuguese.
From 4 a.m. ET on December 24, users can see updates on the website as Santa prepares for his yuletide journey.
From 6 a.m. on Christmas Eve, you can dial the toll-free number 1-877-Hi-NORAD (1-877-446-6723) to ask about Santa’s latest whereabouts and will be greeted by a live phone operator or a recorded update.
« Due to COVID concerns, the NORAD Tracks Santa Operations Center will have fewer phone operators, so callers who do not reach a volunteer will hear a regularly updated recording as to Santa’s current location, » said NORAD.
Other Ways to Track Santa
Users can also access the NORAD Tracks Santa app (which is available in Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store) to track Saint Nick from their smartphones and tablets.
Tracking opportunities are also available through social media via the Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube accounts for NORAD Tracks Santa, as well as via the partner platforms Bing, Amazon Alexa and OnStar.
« Anytime on December 24, Amazon Alexa users can ask for Santa’s location through the NORAD Tracks Santa skill for Amazon Alexa, and OnStar subscribers can press the OnStar button in their vehicles to locate Santa, » NORAD explained.
Trackers can also use the Bing search engine to see Santa’s current location.
How Did NORAD’s Santa Tracking Tradition Begin?
The tradition of tracking Santa Claus first began in 1955 when a local newspaper published an advertisement telling kids they could call Santa directly.
But the contact number for Santa was misprinted. So instead of reaching Santa, the number connected the caller to the crew commander on duty (U.S. Air Force Colonel Harry Shoup) at the Continental Air Defense Command Operations Center (the predecessor to NORAD).
Quickly realizing the mistake, Col. Shoup reassured the child calling that he was Father Christmas. He then assigned another duty officer to continue answering these calls, sparking a decades-long tradition, which NORAD has continued since 1958.
Every year since then, the joint air defense effort has reported Santa’s location on Christmas Eve to millions of children and families across the globe, according to NORAD.
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