The North American Aerospace Defense Command celebrates the 66th anniversary of the follow-up to Santa’s Christmas trip around the world.
The NORAD Tracks Santa website, www.noradsanta.org, launched on December 1 and features Santa’s North Pole Village, which includes a holiday countdown, games, movie theater, music holidays, an online store and more. The website is available in eight languages: English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese and Chinese.
The official NORAD Tracks Santa app is also available in the Apple App and Google Play stores, so parents and kids can count the days until the launch of Santa Claus on their smartphones and tablets. Follow-up opportunities are also offered via social networks on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram, as well as on partner platforms Bing, Amazon Alexa and OnStar.
Website visitors can see updates as Santa prepares his flight starting at 4:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (3:00 a.m. Central Standard Time) on December 24. At 6:00 a.m. EST (5:00 a.m. CST), trackers around the world can call to inquire about Santa Claus. location by dialing the toll-free number 1-877-Hi-NORAD (1-877-446-6723) where they can either speak with a live telephone operator or hear a recorded update.
Due to COVID concerns, NORAD Tracks Santa’s operations center will have fewer telephone operators, so callers who are unable to reach a volunteer will hear a regularly updated recording showing the current location of Santa Claus. Anytime on Christmas Eve, Amazon Alexa users can request the location of Santa Claus through the NORAD Tracks Santa Skill for Amazon Alexa, and OnStar subscribers can press the OnStar button in their vehicles to locate Santa Claus. . Santa Claus trackers can also use the Bing search engine to find out the location of Santa Claus.
Following Santa has been a tradition since 1955, when an ad in a local newspaper informed children that they could call Santa directly, only the contact number was improperly printed. Instead of reaching Santa, the phone called the on-duty crew commander, US Air Force Col. Harry Shoup, at the Continental Air Defense Command Operations Center, NORAD’s predecessor. Colonel Shoup soon realized that a mistake had been made and assured the child that he was Santa Claus. Shoup then assigned a duty officer to continue answering calls. Thus was born a holiday tradition, which NORAD has perpetuated since its creation in 1958.
Each year since, NORAD has reported Santa’s location on December 24 to millions of children and families around the world.
NORAD Tracks Santa is truly a global experience, delighting generations of families all over the world.