Santa cleared for global travel
No doubt he's made a list, checked it twice and decided who's naughty or nice and now you can follow Santa as he makes his way across the globe.
Beginning in the South Pacific just before 10am our time, Santa - and his reindeer - will take an estimated 510,000,000km round the world trip on Christmas eve visiting over 75million homes. That sleigh will need to move at around 1,800 miles per second stopping off at near 400,000 homes every minute.
And with such a huge workload on offer there also be some 70-odd billion in calories - your cookies, mince pies and tipples - on offer by the fire side!
As he makes his way around the world Belfast City Council has made sure there'll be is no missing us. The dome at city hall will flash red to guide the big man on his approach.
He is expected to arrive around midnight.
The weather will be cold and brisk around Northern Ireland with some thick cloud that could hamper Santa's journey. In eastern regions there will be clear skies, although some frost.
Health Minister Robin Swann - who revealed he was also the "Elf Minister" said he had got reassurance from the chief elf that Christmas would be ok.
"So let's have a good Christmas," he said.
A special message from the âElfâ Minister 🌲🎅🏼🌲 pic.twitter.com/ehobFGAyzo— Department of Health (@healthdpt) December 24, 2020
The World Health Organisation has confirmed Santa is immune from coronavirus and world leaders have cleared him for travel through their airspace.
Dr Maria Van Kerkhove of the WHO explained: "We had a brief chat with him and he is doing very well. Mrs Claus is doing very well and they're very busy right now but he is immune and we have heard from a number of leaders across the world who have told us that they have restricted - relaxed; excuse me - the quarantine measures for Santa to enter the airspace so he will be able to travel in and out of the airspace and able to deliver presents to children."
Meanwhile, The North American Aerospace Defence Command (Norad) will update its site with the latest news on where Santa Claus is on Christmas Eve. The tradition dates back to the 50s when children were able to phone the centre to check on Santa's progress.
It began tracking Santa when a child called the command’s headquarters in Colorado asking to speak to Santa Claus. The boy had dialed a misprinted phone number from a department store advertisement in the local newspaper.
The operations center director was quick to realise a mistake had been made, and assured the boy that Norad would guarantee Santa a safe journey from the North Pole.
A tradition was born that rolled over to Norad when it was formed in 1958. Each year since, Norad has reported Santa’s location on December 24 to millions of children and families across the world with the service going online in 1997.
Norad uses its satellites, high-powered radar, jet fighters and special Santa cameras to get an accurate fix on St Nick's location as he makes his journey around the world.
Volunteers at Peterson Air Force Base answer an estimated 125,000 calls from children around the world to let them know where Santa is, and at what point he'll be arriving at their house.