NORAD Santa tracker 2017: Follow where Santa Claus travels on his Christmas Eve journey around the world

NORAD Santa tracker 2017: Follow where Santa Claus travels on his Christmas Eve journey around the worldHe's made his list, he's checked it twice, he already knows who's been naughty and nice. That's right: Santa Claus is coming to town – and you can follow him as he makes his way around the world. Every year, the boffins at Norad (the North American Aerospace Defense Command) kindly dedicate December 24th to tracking Father Christmas as he darts from chimney to chimney, country to country, and continent to continent, delivering gifts while voraciously consuming sweetmeats. When will Santa arrive in the UK? Their service began by happenstance in 1955, when a Sears ad in a local paper offering the chance to speak to Santa mistakenly printed the top secret phone number of Conad – Norad’s predecessor. US Air Force Col. Harry Shoup took the first call from a young boy wanting to talk to Santa in good humour, and so a Christmas tradition was born. Now, every year, thousands of volunteers staff telephones and computers to answer calls and e-mails from children (and adults) around the world. As of 2007, search engine Google has also provided an online tracker, in partnership with Norad. Join us below to follow Santa's snow-flecked footsteps around the world. And keep your fingers crossed that when he arrives at your house, he'll find your name on the good side of that list … 8:25PM The Acropolis Santa has just done a fly-by of another of the new wonders of the world – the Acropolis in Athens:   7:56PM Santa is on schedule #NORAD confirms #Santa has arrived over Chisinau, Moldova. #Santa reported the weather is clear and his is on schedule— NORAD Tracks Santa (@NoradSanta) December 24, 2017   7:43PM Santa is in Europe! The Big Man was last spotted in Vilnius, Lithuania. #NORAD confirms #Santa has arrived over Vilnius, Lithuania— NORAD Tracks Santa (@NoradSanta) December 24, 2017   7:33PM The 'Nanny State' Christmas lunch: Everything you should be eating, according to official advice With a measly portion of turkey, pallid boiled potatoes and just a quarter of a glass of champagne, this is what Christmas dinner might look like if public health guidelines were followed to the letter, Sophie Jamieson writes. Dubbed the "nanny state approved Christmas lunch", the menu to keep you below Public Health England (PHE) recommended calorie intake allows for only a quarter of a pig in blanket, a tenth of a serving of Christmas pudding and a twentieth of a mince pie.  Taxpayers Alliance handout showing a visual representation of a Christmas lunch as approved by the National Health Service's nutritional guidelines PHE guidelines say the average man should keep below 2,500 calories per day. The figure is 2,000 calories for women.  The bleak festive spread was created by the pressure group the TaxPayers' Alliance, who say PHE spend £40 million a year telling people how to live healthy lives. Read the full story. 6:57PM The best Christmas TV When you're taking a break from following Santa's journey around the world, here are the best TV offerings this year, including  All Star Musicals and  Mary, Mel and Sue's Big Chistmas Thank You. Dr Who Credit: BBC   6:25PM How does the Santa tracker work? People always ask how #NORAD tracks #Santa on Dec 24th! We use infrared sensors from Rudolph’s nose to determine Santa’s exact location throughout the night! To talk to a NORAD Santa Tracker, call 1-877-HI-NORAD. (Desktop browsers only)— NORAD Tracks Santa (@NoradSanta) December 24, 2017   5:44PM Children in Russia – it's time to go to bed! #NORAD Just spotted #Santa over Russia! Children in Russia, it's time to go to bed. #NORADTracksSanta— NORAD Tracks Santa (@NoradSanta) December 24, 2017   5:43PM How to host a family Christmas… without having a breakdown Do you remember waking up on Christmas day, filled with excitement and joy? Did you jump out of bed and rush downstairs to see if Father Christmas had successfully navigated the chimney/central heating system and delivered that all-important toy on your wish list? Good times. The chances are your first waking moments of Christmas Day are sprinkled with slightly different thoughts these days. Has the turkey finished defrosting? Will the kids like their presents? Is there still time to barricade the house to prevent the in-laws gaining access? Well, worry no longer. Read our guide that answers all you anxiety-ridden prayers. How to have the perfect Christmas   5:16PM Taj Mahal Santa has just visited India – cameras picked him up flying over one of the modern wonders of the world:   4:53PM The Christmas crystal ball Christmas Day is a bit like Groundhog. You wake up, stick the turkey in the oven, placate yourself with an odd concoction of coffee and Bucks Fizz, watch the kids tear open their presents, slave away in the kitchen some more, and finally pass out on the sofa. Tick, there goes another year. Here are the 24 things bound to happen at your big family Christmas tomorrow.  4:42PM Conquering Everest Santa is going to have to tug hard on those reins and get the reindeer flying high. He's coming into Nepal, home to eight of the 10 world's highest peaks, including the tallest Mount Everest. Nepal guess who is coming soon…that’s right����.Time for good boys and girls to get to �� and catch some ��.��— NORAD Tracks Santa (@NoradSanta) 24 December 2017 4:36PM Getting through Russia Santa is back working his way through Russia. It's a long, hard slog – Russia takes up an eighth of the Earth's land area – but Santa misses no one out on Christmas Eve. 4:12PM Christmas code-words Are you expecting to welcome friends and relatives tomorrow? Christmas day can be a bit of a war-zone, but everyone just tries to dust their resentment under the carpet because hey it's Christmas, and in the spirit of said holiday, thou shalt lie and deceive rather that tell the truth. If you do actually want to find out what everyone round the dinner table is actually thinking than read this: What people say at Christmas… and what they really mean 4:00PM No holiday on Christmas day in Thailand Santa is now dropping off presents in Thailand. 85 percent of the population in Thailand is Buddhist, and 14 percent practice Islam. As such, Christmas day is not taken as a holiday in Thailand but many lights and decorations still adorn the streets of Thailand's capital Bangkok during the month to celebrate the King's birthday on 5 December. Since the previous king passed away last year though, the celebrated holiday has moved to 28 July. 3:28PM From Saint Nick to Saint Graham Credit:  Christopher Baines/BBC From one jolly bearded fellow to another – read Graham Norton's Christmas special agony uncle column here while you wait for the other one to hurry up with your presents already. 3:19PM The Las Vegas of Asia Santa is about to go over Macau, an autonomous region on the South coast of China dubbed the 'Las Vegas of Asia' because of it's bounty of casinos, and the bustling nightlife. You might want to turn down the light on Rudolph's nose Santa – you're not going to need it to light the way over here. The Venetian Macao Resort Hotel Credit: Kin Cheung/AP   2:52PM What to do after unwrapping the presents? After the presents, there is the turkey, but then how about a winter walk or maybe a film (and none of those slushy romantic ones please)? You could even book yourself into a mindfulness retreat if it's all become too much. We've wracked our brains for a range of activities to try out once Santa has done his job and all the presents have been ripped open.  How to keep the family entertained over Christmas 2:37PM Great wall of China Santa has just crossed over the Great Wall of China, which was built by the Qin dynasty to keep northern invaders out of their territories.  No such problems for Santa – nothing can get in the way of him and his reindeer tonight, they've got presents to deliver. Santa has a great view of the Great Wall #NORADTracksSanta thanks to @verizon for boosting our signal!— NORAD Tracks Santa (@NoradSanta) 24 December 2017 2:20PM 1 billion presents delivered! A congratulations are in order for a certain Mr Claus, who has just dropped off one billion presents this evening. However with 6.6 billion more people still waiting for their pressies, Santa still has a long night ahead of him. 2:16PM Valentine's Day on Christmas Eve Santa is in Japan. Christmas Eve is a big deal for young Japanese couples, who treat the evening as we would do Valentines Day. No one is quite sure why the evening became an event for couples, but pop-star Tatsuro Yamashita’s 1988 song, “Christmas Eve” about the sadness of spending Christmas alone, popularised the romantic ideals of being close to that special someone on Christmas Eve. Meanwhile over here we're just thinking about all the pressies Santa is about to drop off. 2:02PM There's the Sydney Opera House It's flashback time. Here is Santa doing some sightseeing as he flys over some of Sydney's most famous landmarks. #NORAD spotted #Santa flying through Sydney, Australia! See the video!— NORAD Tracks Santa (@NoradSanta) 24 December 2017 1:54PM Have yourself a very smug Christmas Are you watching Santa scoot around the world safe in the knowledge that all your Christmas day plans are sorted? I bet you're feeling pleased with yourself, and so you should be. However, if you're still flying around frantically trying to tie up all the loose Christmas ends then have a read of our guide to having a smug Christmas, and catch a glimpse of how the other (more organised) half live? How to have a smug Christmas, in ten supremely self-satisfied steps 1:35PM White Christmas? Not in Australia Santa has touched down in Australia. No dreaming of a white Christmas here as it's the height of summer in Australia, with average temperatures of  30C However in 2010 the ssemingly impossible happened as 11 inches of snow fell in New South Wales just a few days before Christmas day. No such luck this year mind. 1:27PM Have you got Christmas dinner covered? While Santa is busy going around the world sorting out the presents, who is sorting out the turkey covered on the big day? We recommend you start your prep for the big Christmas day meal today and save yourself any extra stress on the day. You can prep the vegetables, make the stocks for the gravy and roll up your stuffing balls. Still feeling nervous about cooking Christmas dinner? Take a gander at our ultimate guide to cooking the perfect Christmas dinner. How to cook the perfect Christmas dinner 1:10PM We hope Santa has wrapped up warm Santa is currently flying over the Eastern tip of Russia with the temperature at -17°C. Chilly stuff – so make sure you put some warmed mince pies out on the side for when he eventually comes round to you. 1:02PM Change of Telegraph Christmas Elf That's me done for the year. Over to Richard Jones for more Santa tracking tracking… 12:41PM A peaceful place Santa is currently on his way to the Federated States of Micronesia, population 104,937, which we've previously listed as one of 16 countries that do not have an army. Can you guess the 15 others? 12:13PM The rise of the Christmas Eve box In case you haven't already heard, there's a new Christmas trend in town – and today is the day when it comes to fruition. The Christmas Eve box is a package full of small gifts that kids get to open the night before Christmas. Think of as an early bird's stocking, only without the connotations of mouldy feet. You can find out more about what to put in these boxes (there's still time to cook one up at home – though you'll need to get creative) by reading our useful guide. Ho ho ho, merry Christmas Eve. 11:41AM Q: Why is Rudolph's nose red? A: Because it's hotter than the sun. Here's some science from Norad, on how they use the heat from Rudolph's nose to follow their man… Santa spotted on DSP satellite from the heat off Rudolph's nose!— NORAD Tracks Santa (@NoradSanta) December 24, 2017   11:31AM Eyes to the skies He's off! We have our first Santa spotting of Christmas Eve 2017, with Norad reporting that his red sleigh is currently zooming over Russia, en route to New Zealand and Australia.  Now that they've got Santa locked on their radar, you can follow his progress in the video at the top of this article. Godspeed, Santa Claus. 11:31AM Urgent: Presents needed Are you just waking up to the realisation that it's Christmas Eve? Have you hitherto buried your head in the snow, unwilling to even countenance the idea that you might need to buy a semi-random assortment of objects for your friends and loved ones? Does the thought of a last-minute trip to the heaving High Street make you want to heave in an entirely different manner? Then fear not, because we've rounded up some gift subscription ideas that a) will make great presents, and b) can be bought from the comfort of your front room, without so much as the need to put on a pair of pants. Take a look at the below, and heave a sigh of relief. Last-minute Christmas gift guide: how to do all your shopping … without going to the shops 11:30AM The wait is nearly over Well boys and girls, we're getting close. It seems that Santa is currently doing some last minute quality control. Here's a leaked image from his HQ in Greenland…   11:30AM Santa's journey in numbers Santa will travel an estimated 510,000,000km on Christmas Eve, which means he'll average 10,703,437.5km/hr, or about 1,800 miles per second. According to calculations in 2014, there are roughly 1.85bn children who can hope to receive presents. With an average of 2.5 children per household, that means Santa has to slide down 740m chimneys.  To hit those numbers, Santa needs to visit 390,000 homes per minute – or 6,424 per second. And what of the big guy's expanding waist line? Well, if each house places a 200ml glass of semi-skimmed milk and a mince pie by the fireplace, Santa will make his way throughy 148m litres of milk – enough to fill around 60 Olympic-size swimming pools – and chomp on 740m mince pies. As there are around 250 calories in a mince pie and 100 calories in the glass of milk, that means Santa will consume 259bn calories on Christmas Eve alone. Let's hope his trousers are elasticated. 11:30AM Fake news? A quick word on sources. This time last year, the Santa tracking world was split asunder by an apparent disagreement between the two main tracking organisations. While's Google's tracker reported its first sighting of Santa at 10am GMT, Norad's tracker lagged about 30 minutes behind. And it remained thus for the rest of the day: where one would see Santa arrive in, say, Madrid at 11pm GMT, the other would spot Santa in the same location half an hour later. Little has been said publicly about the confusion since then. The two organisations have apparently closed ranks after the division – leaving online conspiracy theorists to run amok. Are there two Father Christmases, sharing the burden of delivering gifts to every (good) child in the land? Was one tracker detecting an echo in time, the logical consequence of  the vertiginous speeds at which Santa must travel? Had Google picked up a genuine unidentified flying object? No one has the answers to these questions – but suffice to say that if the same happens again this year, we at The Telegraph will treat Norad's tracker as the official timekeeper. No disrespect, Google, but those guys have got the nukes… 11:29AM Why does NORAD track Santa? While we wait for Santa to file all the obligatory flight plans and put the finishing touches on his sleigh packing (we imagine he's much like any father on Christmas Eve right now, desperately pushing another bag of presents into a car boot that's already jammed full), let's take the opportunity to look back on how this Santa tracking business started. The year was 1955, and an advert promoting Santa's Toyland at the Sears department store had been published in the Colorado Springs newspaper, offering excited children the chance to speak to big man himself. The only problem? Rather than listing a dedicated Sears phoneline, the advert referenced a top secret hotline at Conad – Norad’s predecessor. The Sears advert that started it all Over at CONAD, all was calm and well, when US Air Force Col. Harry Shoup, director of operations at the nuclear missile base, noticed the red phone on his desk ringing. Col. Shoup had two phones, and you can imagine what the red one was for. "Only a four-star general at the Pentagon and my dad had the number," recalled his daughter Pam. Presumably fearing the worst, Col. Shoup picked up the receiver. Pam continues: "And then there was a small voice that just asked, 'Is this Santa Claus?'" Shoup was a straight-laced and disciplined man – much as you would expect for the director of operations at the US's nuclear HQ – and he reacted with due annoyance, suspecting he was the victim of a practical joke. But then the little voice started crying. "And Dad realised that it wasn't a joke," says Shoup's daughter. "So he talked to him, ho-ho-ho'd and asked if he had been a good boy and, 'May I talk to your mother?' And the mother got on and said, 'You haven't seen the paper yet? "'There's a phone number to call Santa. It's in the Sears ad.'" Shoup took the reins and ran with them. Soon, he was on local radio every hour, updating listeners on the whereabouts of an unidentified flying object that had the unmistakable look of a sleigh. From one small mistake, a tradition was born. Every year hence, the nuclear has run a Christmas Eve hotline for children, updating them on the whereabouts of the Great Benefactor In The Sky. The Norad Santa Tracking Operation HQ, in 2014 Over the years, Conad/Norad and Santa have proved to be a perfect fit. After all, who better to spot where Santa's sleigh is flying than a major operation dedicated to monitoring the skies? And what better way for the joint US-Canadian military division – men and women who routinely spent their time checking radar screens for signs of impending nuclear apocalypse – to spend their down time than talking to children about what they wanted for Christmas? In 2007, Norad partnered with Google to put the Santa tracking ritual online, and now children around the world can follow Santa's snow-flecked footsteps as he delivers presents during the night before Christmas. With the help of our live blog, of course. 11:29AM Good morning… … and welcome to The Telegraph's Christmas Eve live blog, where we'll be tracking the movements of good ol' Santa (that's Father Christmas or even St. Nick to you and I) as he dashes around the world, delivering gifts and joy to all those children who have been well behaved over the course of the last 12 months. According to (un)official estimates, there's a while to go before Santa starts doing his thing. So, put the kettle on, get some breakfast inside you, fish out those dusty binoculars from wherever you left them this time last year, and get ready to join us for the ride.

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