Santa Claus has begun his journey around the world on his reindeer-powered sleigh, and is due to make his first landing in Ireland around midnight.
Mr Claus will encounter “some tricky weather” on Christmas Eve as he flies over Ireland, Met Éireann said, but added that officials have been keeping him up to date with the forecast so he is well-prepared.
With five counties under a status yellow rain warning from midnight, Mr Claus is travelling with his waterproof suit and hat, while the reindeer also have waterproof coats.
Met Éireann reassured that the weather will not cause any delays for Mr Claus’ journey, and urged children in Ireland to get to bed early.
You can follow his progress around the world and track his location below, thanks to the official Santa Tracker from the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).
Military officials are using radar and other aircraft tracking technology to keep watch over Mr Claus and his reindeer during their annual present-drop.
His first stop on Christmas Eve was New Zealand, where it is already the middle of the night. By lunchtime in Ireland, he had already arrived in eastern Russia.
Like last year, Mr Claus has received clearance for international travel during the pandemic and is classed as an essential worker.
“Santa’s been doing this for centuries, he’s a professional,” said Canadian army captain Alexandra Hejduk, a spokesperson for NORAD.
Meanwhile, the US Secret Service, which is responsible for protecting the president, also provides security for Santa, the agency said in a statement posted on Twitter.
The Big Red Protective Detail is selected, assembled and stands ready to fulfill their seasonal mission. The American public can rest assured that Mr. S. Claus, here from the North Pole, will travel safely and securely throughout his U.S. tour. #BigRedDetail pic.twitter.com/FCrP737rxb
— U.S. Secret Service (@SecretService) December 23, 2021
It was accompanied by a video showing its agents preparing for Santa-protection duties on the North American leg of his world tour.
“The Big Red Protective Detail is selected, assembled and stands ready to fulfil their seasonal mission,” the statement said.
-Additional reporting by Reuters.