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Track Santa Traveling Around the World at NORAD

Published 2011/12/20 - (8 years ago). Last updated 2012/09/20 - (7 years ago).

Author: Santa Tracking

Outline: Track Santas sleigh and reindeer as he delivers gifts around the world using NORAD and Google Earth.

Main Digest

Track Santas sleigh and reindeer as he delivers gifts around the world using NORAD and Google Earth.

Santa Claus - Also known as Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas, Kris Kringle, and simply "Santa", is a figure with legendary, mythical, historical and folkloric origins who, in many western cultures, is said to bring gifts to the homes of the good children during the late evening and overnight hours of Christmas Eve, December 24. The modern figure was derived from the Dutch figure of Sinterklaas, which, in turn, may have part of its basis in hagiographical tales concerning the historical figure of gift giver Saint Nicholas. A nearly identical story is attributed by Greek and Byzantine folklore to Basil of Caesarea. Basil's feast day on January 1 is considered the time of exchanging gifts in Greece.

On Christmas Eve, Santa takes to the skies, where he's tracked by the multi-billion-dollar technological machine that is the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).

For more than 50 years, NORAD and its predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) have tracked Santa's flight.

The tradition began in 1955 after a Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck & Co. advertisement for children to call Santa misprinted the telephone number.

Instead of reaching Santa, the phone number put kids through to the CONAD Commander-in-Chief's operations "hotline."

The Director of Operations at the time, Colonel Harry Shoup, had his staff check the radar for indications of Santa making his way south from the North Pole.

Children who called were given updates on his location, and a tradition was born.

In 1958, the governments of Canada and the United States created a bi-national air defense command for North America called the North American Aerospace Defense Command, also known as NORAD, which then took on the tradition of tracking Santa.

If you have Google Maps on your Android, iOS, or Blackberry device, you can track Santa for free on December 24 just by searching for "Santa." It's free, simple, and doesn't even require a download.

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