Santa's Journey Over For Another Year

Santa's Journey Over For Another Year

Santa Claus has completed his delivery of presents across the world - and is now set to rest back at the North Pole for anoher year.

Children around the world had been kept up to date about his progress thanks to Norad - an organisation that provides aerospace warning information to the US and Canada.

The organisation's Norad Tracks Santa site provided up-to-date information on the progress of Father Christmas and his reindeer - Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and Rudolph.

Norad Tracks Santa uses radar, satellites and high-speed digital "Santa Cams" that have been pre-positioned at many locations around the world.

The cameras capture images and videos of Santa and his reindeer as they make their journey each Christmas Eve.

Canadian and US fighter jets are even used to escort Santa and his sleigh through North American airspace - presumably to allay any elf and safety fears his visit might provoke.

Santa usually starts his journey at the International Date Line in the Pacific Ocean and travels west, meaning he visits the South Pacific first, then New Zealand and Australia.

After that, he flies up to Japan, over to Asia, across to Africa, then onto Western Europe, Canada, the United States, Mexico and Central and South America. The journey can be followed on  video .

To calm any doubters, Norad has sought to answer the age-old question "is there a Santa Claus?".

It said: "Mountains of historical data and more than 50 years of Norad tracking information leads us to believe that Santa Claus is alive and well in the hearts of people throughout the world."

However, the organisation admitted it had no clue as to how he manages to climb down people's chimneys.

The Santa tracking feature has been provided since 1955, and came about by accident.

An advertisement for a Sears store in Colorado Springs - near where Norad is based - misprinted the telephone number for children to call Father Christmas.

Instead of reaching Santa, the phone number put them through to the commander-in-chief's operations hotline.

Quick-thinking operations director 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.

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