# How santa got his sleigh

Picture: colorbox Sa 03.12.2016 | 07:55 | Culture

### – Advent door 3: Christmas in numbers

Marianne Mielke has a gift in store for listeners in the third Advent door, which looks at Christmas and the gift-giving ritual as a problem of time and quantities.

He brings gifts, whizzing over stardust through the Christmas night in his sleigh, pulled by nine reindeer. He has to hurry, millions of children are waiting, almost 400 million Christian children, he only delivers to them or all children, then there would be almost two billion in the world. How to do it? How much time would Santa Claus – but let’s call him Santa Claus – have per child?? An exciting question I have always asked myself. Students of a technical university also. They came to the following conclusion: Santa Claus is under time pressure to do his job.

Let’s say he only brings presents to Christian households: He would have a 31-hour day, due to different time zones. Almost 850 visits he would have to make per second. And for his work like parking, jumping out of the sled, climbing down the chimney, putting presents under the Christmas tree, nibbling Christmas cookies, going up the chimney again, flying to the next house, one thousandth of a second must be enough, otherwise there would be Bescherungs delays.

Santa’s sleigh is a very special construction, it can fly crazy fast, 1040 kilometers per second, that is 3000 times the speed of sound. And let’s assume: Each child gets presents that together weigh one kilo, then the sleigh would have a weight of 378.000 tons, not including Santa Claus, who is overweight.

How many reindeer does Santa Claus need to set this immensely heavy sleigh in motion?? The students of a technical university have calculated this, too. There are not nine, no Santa Claus needs a fabulous 216.000 reindeer – that is after all a third of the current reindeer population in the world.

Let’s summarize: Almost 400.000 tons the sleigh weighs, over 200.000 reindeer to pull him, he flies at a speed of more than 1000 km per second. Of course, this creates an enormous air resistance – which is not good for the reindeer: They are vaporized within five thousandths of a second.

And what happens to Santa Claus? Stop. Now we would have to explain this with Newton.

## Back to the Advent calendar

Every year again: Until 24. December the colleagues of the Inforadio culture editorship open each morning a small door at the Inforadio Advent calendar. This year it is all about giving. Worth knowing, thoughts, experiences. And of course again and again: gifts to you.