No need to trek to the North Pole to find Santa Claus today. A quick trip online will let you track Saint Nick and his sleigh as he makes his annual journey across the globe to deliver presents.
The Santa tracker website and mobile app launched by The North American Aerospace Defense Command, also known as NORAD, is up and running again this year. It went live early Wednesday.
U.S. & World
Santa, Rudolph and the rest of the reindeer were spotted over Sydney, Australia, Wednesday morning and by shortly before 11 a.m. Eastern Time, had traversed the continent and were heading up Southeast Asia.
By early afternoon, the team had crossed over India and then Pakistan, where most people are Muslim but some parts of society are embracing Christmas, and was traveling north through Russia.
Just before 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time, Santa was on his way to Minsk, Belarus, and had delivered more than 2.5 million gifts, according to NORAD. By 5:20 p.m., he was over Germany and had given out more than 3 million presents.
At 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time, Santa had made his way to Reykjavik, Iceland. St. Nick had delivered over 4 million presents.
Santa was zigzagging back and forth between the U.S. and Canada at 11 PM ET. He had delivered over 5 million presents.
Alaska was the first U.S. state that Santa hit around 4 AM ET. He then made his way to Hawaii where the first family is vacationing, having already delivered over 7 million gifts.
He wrapped up with a final stop in Midway Atoll before heading home to the North Pole.
According to NORAD, Santa usually starts his journey at the International Date Line in the Pacific Ocean and travels west.
Historically, he visits the South Pacific first, next New Zealand and Australia, then to Asia, across to Africa and on to Western Europe, Canada, the United States, Mexico and Central and South America.
“Keep in mind, Santa’s route can be affected by weather, so it’s really unpredictable,” NORAD writes. “NORAD coordinates with Santa’s Elf Launch Staff to confirm his launch time, but from that point on, Santa calls the shots. We just track him!”
The latest version of the NORAD Tracks Santa effort, which has been around since 1958, features new games and daily activities, including the opportunity to help name a new elf in the North Pole Village.
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Santa and his sleigh will have a hard time staying under the radar thanks to the site, which is accessible in English, French, Spanish, German, Italian Japanese, Portuguese, and Chinese.
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In addition to watching Santa's progress on the tracker, users can find out Santa's current location by dialing 1-877-Hi-NORAD (1-877-446-6723) or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.