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The most wonderful time of year is fast approaching. During the festive season, millions of children count down the days of December and go to sleep on Christmas Eve, excitedly awaiting the delivery of their Christmas gifts from the beloved Santa Claus.
From the history behind NORAD's holiday role to finding out what time you can expect an appearance down your chimney, here is everything you need to know about Santa's busiest night of the year. Every year on Christmas Eve, Santa sets off on his sleigh from Lapland with his trusty reindeer, travelling an estimated , km - approximately 1, miles per second.
Christmas Eve is a busy time for Father Christmas as he needs to visithomes per minute, which equates to around 6, per second. From sherry, mulled wine and beer, to mince pies, gingerbread men and fruit cake, Santa won't be short of energy during his journey, consuming a total of 71,, calories. But, with plenty of driving involved throughout the night, let's hope children opt to leave him non-alcoholic beverages. Father Christmas' journey always begins in the South Pacific, with his first stop to the Republic of Kiribati, a collection of 32 atolls in the Pacific Ocean. He then travels west, delivering presents to those in New Zealand and Australia, followed by Japan.
Every year, the NORAD Tracks Santa website receives nearly nine million unique visitors from more than countries and territories across the globe who are keen to follow Santa on his journey. On December 1, NORAD will open up their festive website once again, with games, videos, music and stories, all available in a range of languages. And, on Christmas Eve, the official Santa tracker will launch, enabling keen followers of Father Christmas to monitor his journey of delivering presents. There will be 1, volunteers responding to s and answering more thancalls regarding Santa's exact whereabouts.
Colonel Shoup, dubbed "Santa Colonel", later received multiple calls that night from other children, all looking for the whereabouts of Father Christmas.
He and his fellow call operators together informed the children calling throughout the night of Santa's exact location. NORAD has carried out its Christmas role for over 60 years and sincechildren across the globe have been able to monitor Santa's journey online. More than 50 years after the night of calls from children, Colonel Shoup's granddaughter Carrie Farrell, who worked for Google, announced their partnership with NORAD to track Santa in - although the companies have since parted ways, carrying out their holiday roles separately.
Google later developed the Santa Tracker website as well as Santa's Village, which boasts an array of fun games and educational resources for children and families. It also offers children the chance to improve their coding skills with Santa's Elves, learn how to say different seasonal greetings from around the world and take a holiday traditions quiz.
On Christmas Eve, Santa's Village will transform into a tracking experience, allowing children to monitor his progress of delivering presents on their desktop, mobile and tablet devices. While Britons often picture Father Christmas to be a jolly character with a white beard, wearing a red suit and big black boots, other countries around the world visualise the beloved festive figure differently. In Belgium and the Netherlands, Santa is known as Sinterklaas, who wears a bishop's alb and cape with a ruby ring and travels on a white horse.
In Russia, Grandfather Frost arrives on New Year's Eve to deliver gifts whereas in Finland, Joulupukki knocks on children's doors on Christmas Eve to ask if they have been well-behaved.
We urge you to turn off your ad blocker for The Telegraph website so that you can continue to access our quality content in the future. Visit our adblocking instructions. Santa's journey across the globe Every year on Christmas Eve, Santa sets off on his sleigh from Lapland with his trusty reindeer, travelling an estimated , km - approximately 1, miles per second.
Santa's travel route Father Christmas' journey always begins in the South Pacific, with his first stop to the Republic of Kiribati, a collection of 32 atolls in the Pacific Ocean. Santa Claus around the world While Britons often picture Father Christmas to be a jolly character with a white beard, wearing a red suit and big black boots, other countries around the world visualise the beloved festive figure differently.
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NORAD Santa Tracker How to follow Father Christmas' journey on Christmas Eve