VIDEO: Czech Army takes aim at Santa Claus

"For us, Baby Jesus brings gifts," the Czech Army states in a new video depicting Santa Claus and his reindeer being shot out of the sky.

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky Published on 24.12.2021 12:56:00 (updated on 25.12.2021) Reading time: 2 minutes

In the United States and Canada, NORAD (the North American Aerospace Defense Command) has famously tracked the flight of Santa Claus across the globe since 1955. But jolly old St. Nick may not make it across the Atlantic this year if the Army of the Czech Republic has anything to say about it.

In a new video posted to social media, members of the Czech Army can be seen tracking the flight pattern of Santa Claus over the Czech Republic. For the Czech military, however, Santa is not a beloved gift giver but a potential threat.

In what might seem disturbing for viewers unfamiliar with Czech Christmas traditions, Santa is shown being shot out of the air by a fighter jet before finding himself surrounded by tanks.

While the video ends with Santa in imminent peril, some postscript ensures that he ultimately made it out all right.

"No reindeer or Santa were injured during the filming of this video," the text reads.

"After a short negotiation, the reindeer were rounded up by paratroopers. Santa was given a sled from the State Material Reserves Administration - a legacy from Father Frost. The Deployable Forces Support Battalion ensured the transfer of equipment at the state border. Santa continued on his Christmas journey."

While Baby Jesus (Ježíšek) is the traditional gift-giver in the Czech Republic and its neighbors (the Christkind brings presents in Austria and parts of Germany, and Slovakia and Poland have their own versions) most other countries in Europe lean towards a more Santa-like figure.

In an age of increasing globalization, a minor battle has arisen between Santa and Ježíšek in recent years, with some fighting to preserve the local traditions against Santa's Christmas empire. According to a recent report, foreign imagery including Santa Claus has overtaken traditional Czech Christmas images in holiday advertisements.

"For us, Baby Jesus brings gifts," the Czech Army states, referencing their preferred Christmas gift giver.

The Army wasn't the only official Czech body to take a jab at Santa this Christmas. Czech Police also shared a video to highlight the dangers of texting while driving, in which a distracted St. Nick gets into an accident and police must take over his delivery route.

In response to the Army's video, meanwhile, Czech Air Traffic Control jokingly tweeted that they had granted an airspeed exemption for Baby Jesus in order for him to deliver all his presents this year.

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"CONFIRMED! The supersonic Ježíšek (speed approximately Mach 9) submitted his current flight plan in Czech airspace," writes Czech Air Traffic Control. "An ​​exemption for this speed has been granted by ACC Prague."

The enduring tradition of Baby Jesus at Christmastime might seem like an unusual one in the Czech Republic, which is often cited as one of the world's most atheistic countries. But a recent survey that found most Czechs believe in a higher power somewhat challenges that notion.

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