Santa Claus has begun his annual journey to deliver Christmas gifts to children all over the world, braving freezing temperatures as he departs from his home inside the Arctic Circle.
Families braved temperatures of -22 C to gather at Santa's official residence in the town of Rovaniemi, Finland, which lies inside the Arctic Circle, to listen to Christmas songs and bid farewell to Santa as he embarks on the busiest period in his calendar.
With his elves putting on a song-and-dance performance to wish him luck, Santa spoke to the crowd briefly in Finnish and English, wishing them a peaceful and happy Christmas.
He then left his village to head to the North Pole and stock up his sleigh with gifts for lucky children all over the world before collecting the rest of his reindeer and heading off on his Christmas Eve journey.
(Video source: VCG)