The North American Aerospace Defense Command is tracking Santa Claus as he travels around the world to make deliveries as children eagerly await their gifts.
NORAD detected Santa departing the North Pole at 4 a.m. on Tuesday before making his first stops of the day in Russia and Asia.
The public can track Santa’s journey in real-time by visiting NORAD’s Santa Tracker website or by calling 1-877-446-6723 to get up to date information from NORAD trackers.
“In addition to our day-to-day mission of defending North America, we are proud to carry on the tradition of tracking Santa as he travels along his yuletide flight path,” Gen. Terrence O’Shaughnessy, commander of NORAD and U.S. Northern Command, said in a press release. “The same radars, satellites and interceptors employed on Dec. 24 are used year-round to defend Canadian and American airspace from threats.”
The tradition began in 1955 when a misprint in a newspaper advertisement telling children they could call Santa directly accidentally directed calls to NORAD’s predecessor the Continental Air Defense Command Operations Center.
Col. Harry Shoup assured the child he was Santa and continued answering calls throughout the night.
This year NORAD launched the 64th iteration of its Santa Tracker, allowing people throughout the globe to keep up with Santa.