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Summer vacation (also called summer holidays or summer break) is a vacation in the summertime between school years in which students and instructors are off school typically between 6 and 14 weeks, depending on the country and district.
The origins of the summer holiday break is often believed to be rooted in agriculture. It is widely believed that the school calendar follows the agrarian farming calendar and that during the settlement of the United States our nation was predominately farmers. This belief maintained that the labor required on the farm, that is the farmer’s children, is the reason why the current school calendar has a two to three month break so that children could assume the necessary tasks of planting and harvesting crops. However planting of most crops occurs in the spring and the harvest occurred in the fall. Rural schools would often break for spring and fall seasons, but continue school through the summer.
The modern school calendar has roots, not on rural farms but instead in urban cities. There are multiple reasons that lead to the summer break that students know today. In fact, schools in the early 1800’s held school throughout the summer. But as schooling progressed through bureaucracy, society’s population growth and change, as well as improvements in technology, such as better transportation for students and air conditioned buildings, school calendars also changed.
Many citizens of upper and middle classes would vacation outside of the sweltering cities during the hot summers. If school continued into the summer months, families would no longer have the time available for summer vacations. (Gold)
Dr. Kenneth Gold also explains that as school systems grew throughout the United States they became more aligned with colleges and university schedules. Colleges had already observed a break during summer. Having public schools observe the same break was a natural course of action for schools. Breaks were becoming more and more frequent as well. Original schools observed New Year’s Day, Fourth of July, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. The duration of the breaks at these observances varied from school to school. More observances are honored as our nation has progressed continually changing the school calendar today. 
Public schooling historically was not a highly supported system through taxpayers. Particularly in the south, educating youth was seen as the responsibility of the family and should not be a burden on taxpayers. Schooling in pre-revolution America was even viewed as an evil institution. Speaking to the Commissioners of Trade and Plantations in 1671 Sir William Berkeley stated, “thank God, there are no free schools nor print [in Virginia].” Berkeley continued: “I hope we shall not have these [for a] hundred years; for learning has brought disobedience and heresy, and sects into the world, and printing has divulged them, and libels against the best government. Go keep us from both.” 
As our nation expanded and grew, the nation saw the need for an educated populace and more public schools were built. But the need for academic breaks from learning was always seen as necessary.
Nineteenth century and early twentieth century belief regarded the brain as a muscle. That too much work and strain on the brain may result in injury. Therefore students should not receive too much education. This was particularly true of younger children whose minds were still developing. As industrialism led to automation and wealth, and the nation recovered and expanded following the Civil War, leisure activity became more important to Americans. Leading advocates for play such as Henry Curtis believed strongly that children were not having enough time for play. In addition to advocating playground equipment. Curtis also advocated that summer should be spent working with families in gardens, and going camping. Curtis was a large supporter of boy and girl scouts and encouraged children to engage in scouting during the summer. If children lived in the cities and were unable to go camping or tend to gardens, schools were a premier place for children to be, but the emphasis should be on learning life-long skills; sewing, woodworking, crafts, and manual labor.
- 1 Criticisms and support
- 2 By country
- 2.1 Argentina
- 2.2 Australia
- 2.3 Austria
- 2.4 Bangladesh
- 2.5 Belgium
- 2.6 Bolivia
- 2.7 Bosnia and Herzegovina
- 2.8 Brazil
- 2.9 Bulgaria
- 2.10 Canada
- 2.11 Chile
- 2.12 China
- 2.13 Colombia
- 2.14 Costa Rica
- 2.15 Croatia
- 2.16 Czech Republic
- 2.17 Denmark
- 2.18 Ecuador
- 2.19 Egypt
- 2.20 Estonia
- 2.21 Ethiopia
- 2.22 Finland
- 2.23 France
- 2.24 Germany
- 2.25 Greece
- 2.26 Guyana
- 2.27 Hungary
- 2.28 Hong Kong
- 2.29 Iceland
- 2.30 India
- 2.31 Iran
- 2.32 Iraq
- 2.33 Ireland
- 2.34 Israel
- 2.35 Italy
- 2.36 Japan
- 2.37 Jordan
- 2.38 Kuwait
- 2.39 Lebanon
- 2.40 Lithuania
- 2.41 Malta
- 2.42 Moldova
- 2.43 Morocco
- 2.44 Mexico
- 2.45 Mongolia
- 2.46 Nepal
- 2.47 Netherlands
- 2.48 New Zealand
- 2.49 Nigeria
- 2.50 Norway
- 2.51 Oman
- 2.52 Pakistan
- 2.53 Panama
- 2.54 Paraguay
- 2.55 Philippines
- 2.56 Poland
- 2.57 Portugal
- 2.58 Russia
- 2.59 Romania
- 2.60 Saudi Arabia
- 2.61 Singapore
- 2.62 Slovakia
- 2.63 Slovenia
- 2.64 South Africa
- 2.65 South Korea
- 2.66 Spain
- 2.67 Suriname
- 2.68 Sweden
- 2.69 Switzerland
- 2.70 Syria
- 2.71 Taiwan
- 2.72 Thailand
- 2.73 Turkey
- 2.74 Tunisia
- 2.75 United Kingdom
- 2.76 United States
- 2.77 Uruguay
- 2.78 Venezuela
- 2.79 Vietnam
- 3 See also
- 4 References
Criticisms and support
Some countries only get six weeks or two months summer vacation because students supposedly forget large amounts of information learned in the past year (See: Summer learning loss). Other education reformers believed that children were overstimulated in a system which required 48 weeks of schooling. They believe that over-schooling could lead to nervous disorders, depression, and insanity. They believe that children need the 2–3 months off to relax and also to take a break from other childhood stresses associated with school such as peer pressure, cliques, bullying, and the pressure of heavy loads of schoolwork and homework.
Some critics of summer vacation point out that American students spend approximately 180 days (26 weeks) per year in school, but Asian students are "in school for 240 to 250 days". This is consistent with the conclusions of researchers who suggest that advanced abilities are in proportion to the time spent learning. Summer holidays in Japan last from late July until early September.
In Argentina, the school year ends by late November or early December and starts late February or even mid March (12 to 14 weeks). There are 2 days off for Holy Easter (which, taking place on Thursday and Friday, account for a 4-day weekend), 2 weeks for Winter Break, and a day for 21 September, Student's Day. Of course without counting the numerous public and patriotic holidays.
In Australia, the Summer season officially lasts from December to February, and therefore includes the Christmas and New Year holidays. The dates of Australian "school holidays" (the term used, rather than "vacation") are determined by each state's Department of Education, the Summer (also known as Christmas) holidays being the longest in duration. Typically Christmas or Summer holidays in Australia last approximately six weeks, usually from mid-December (depending on school year, see below) to late January. This is significantly shorter than the North American Summer vacation, but Australian schools also break for two weeks at Easter, and in June and September, giving students and teachers a total of twelve weeks of annual holidays. In many public schools, years 10 through 12 will finish before December 15, allowing time to complete exam marking and results. Year 10 commonly finishes at the end of November, Year 11 at the end of October, and year 12 (Senior Year) also at mid or the end of October after 3 weeks of end-of-year exams. This can bring the normal 12 weeks of vacation to 20 weeks of vacation. The intervening periods of school operation without holidays are called "School Terms", each term lasting approximately ten weeks. All Australian states have relatively similar holiday periods between each term, but there is the ability for this to change around, such as for the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, when the first term in Victorian schools was shortened to 6 weeks and the other subsequently extended to 12 weeks due to severe disruptions to the public and private bus networks used by school students. Most private schools in Australia have up to four weeks of additional holidays, due to their longer teaching hours during term.
In Austria, summer vacation varies by region. School usually ends in late June, while in some schools the school year lasts until early July.
In Bangladesh, summer vacation begins in mid-May and ends in mid June (4 weeks). According to Bengali calendar summer vacation related with availability of different kinds of summer fruits in the month of Joishtho (mid May to mid June). Also its become very uncomfortable for children to stay in class during extreme warm-humid weather.
In Belgium, summer vacation lasts from July 1 until August 31 (2 months).
In Bolivia, summer vacation starts from December and ends in February (2 months).
Bosnia and Herzegovina
In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the start of summer break varies by school, but usually starts at the beginning or mid-June. School starts on the first Monday of September. There is also a three-to-four weeks long break during winter (typically starting on the 31st of December). School is not out on Christmas or Easter, but students who celebrate those holidays are allowed to miss that day of school.
In Brazil, summer break starts in early December and ends in early February, sometimes being delayed until the week after Brazilian Carnival. In some northern areas summer break follows the northern pattern in July and August.
In Bulgaria, the time of the break differs according to the grade of the students: The following periods are applied: 1st grade: May 24 - September 15 2nd-4th grade: May 31 - September 15 5th-7th grade: June 15 - September 15 8th-11th grade: June 30 - September 15 12th grade: School year ends in mid-May.
In Canada, the first day of summer vacation for public schools is the last Saturday in June. Depending on the province, students can get 2–3 months of summer vacation. This may vary in Quebec (earlier due to provincial June 24 holiday). The last day of summer vacation is Labour Day. This can vary in Private schools. School generally resumes the day after Labour Day (in September). Most have two weeks off for Christmas and New Year, and a week off in March or April for Spring Break (sometimes called March Break).
In Chile, summer vacation lasts from early or mid-December until late February or early March (10, 11 or 12 weeks). In addition, schools have two or three weeks off for Winter in July, and one-week-long break for National Holidays in mid-September.
In the People's Republic of China, summer holidays start in early July and often end in early September (2 months).
In Colombia, summer vacation varies. Because of Colombia's equatorial climate (see Climate of Colombia for more information), schools run two different calendars. Most of the country runs "Calendar B" in which there is a long vacation in July and August, but some schools run "Calendar A" with a long vacation around Christmas.
In Costa Rica, summer vacation lasts 2 months. Usually begin in late December and end in early February. There are a few schools using the "american" style, those school usually take vacations in late May and then resume again in early August.
In Croatia, the final exams are usually taken around June 15 and school begins on the first Monday in September.
In the Czech Republic, summer holiday begins on July 2 and ends on August 31 (2 months).
In Denmark, summer break lasts from the end of June to early or mid-August. High schools (colleges) usually return to school in early August, but for younger students it can be in the middle.
In Ecuador, summer vacation varies. Because of Ecuador's equatorial climate (see Climate of Ecuador for more information), schools run two different calendars. Most of the country runs vacation on January and February, but in some northern areas, summer vacation follows the pattern in July and August.
In Egypt, summer break lasts from the beginning or the middle of June until the middle of September (3 Months - 14 Weeks), though length slightly differs according to age
In Estonia, summer holidays start in the beginning of June, the date ranging for different grades. School begins every year on September 1, with a week off in autumn, 2 weeks off at Christmas and a week in spring.
In Ethiopia, the school year usually ends in late May to mid-June and begins in mid-September (12 to 15 weeks).
In Finland, summer vacation starts on Saturday in late May, or in the beginning of June. The vacation lasts for 21⁄2 to 3 months. Usually, school starts again on August 10 to 18.
In France, summer vacation usually consist of July and August (2 months).
In Germany, summer vacation lasts six weeks. The exact dates vary by state, from the earliest (mid-June to late July) to the latest (late July to early September).
In Greece, the summer vacation lasts for 3 months. Schools close around June 16 and reopen on September 11. Universities generally close mid-July but with great differences between faculties.
In Guyana, the summer holidays start in early July and end in early September (2 months).
In Hungary, summer vacation usually lasts from mid-June to early September (11 or 12 weeks).
In Hong Kong, summer vacation normally begins in mid-July and ends on the beginning of September (6–7 weeks) for most public schools. However, the starting and ending times of international schools are variable. For example, most ESF-based schools start at around late June and finish mid-August (7 weeks).
In Iceland, the duration of the summer vacation can vary from one school to another. Typically students go on a summer vacation during the first week of June and return to school in the 4th week of August.
In India, summer vacation varies. In northern India, school ends on May 1 and begins on July 1, while in southern India, school ends in the last week of March and begins in June.
In Iran, summer vacation lasts 3 months. Schools close in late June and reopen in October.
In Iraq, summer vacation begins in May and ends in September.
In Ireland, most secondary schools start summer holidays in the last week of May, or at the end of the Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate exams, and don't return until the first week in September. Other holidays include around two weeks for Easter and around another two weeks for Christmas and New Year, as well as two midterms with one in October/November during the week of Halloween and one usually in the month of February. Schools are also closed (usually one or two) for St. Patrick's Day, and Bank Holidays. Students doing exams (Junior Cert and Leaving Cert) have to come in some days during June to sit their exams but otherwise have the same break as those not doing exams. Primary schools in the Republic of Ireland work sixteen days longer, so they start their summer holiday at the end of June. Private schools in the Republic of Ireland follow the same pattern, although summer holidays vary.
The start of summer vacation for preparatory and secondary schools is on June 21 and the end is on August 26, (9–10 weeks) and summer vacation for primary schools and kindergartens begins on July 1 and ends on August 26. (8 weeks)
In Italy, summer vacation for elementary, middle and high schools normally starts on the second week of June and lasts until the first week of September included, for a total of three months. For kindergartens, summer vacation starts at the end of May and lasts until the first week of September. Final term examinations for middle school and high school are held until the end of June.
In Japan, the summer vacation generally lasts from late July to early September, and due to the way education in Japan is structured, it takes place within a school year.
In Jordan, summer vacation lasts almost 3 months and most schools take summer vacation from mid-June to mid-September.
In Kuwait, summer vacation for elementary and middle school, [1st to 9th grade] starts at the end of May or at the beginning of June and ends at mid to late September, sometimes as far as early October. For high school students, [10th to 12th grade] it starts on June 19–20 and ends at the same time as elementary and middle school.
In Lebanon, summer vacation lasts almost 3 months and most schools take summer vacation from mid-June to mid-September.
In Lithuania, summer vacation starts in early June and ends on September 1 with the start of a new school year (3 months).
In Malta, the summer holidays usually last from the end of June until the end of September (3 months).
In Moldova, summer vacation begins on 1 June and ends in 1 September (3 months).
In Morocco, summer vacation last from 20 June until the beginning of September (2 months).
In Mexico, summer vacation starts in early July and finishes in mid-August since 2000 . In addition, Mexican children get two or three weeks off for Christmas and New Year (from the third thursday in December to January 7), and two weeks off in March or April for Spring Break(from the friday before lazarus saturday to the monday after easter monday)
In Mongolia, the summer vacation runs from the start of June to the last day of August (3 months).
In Nepal, summer vacation runs from the end of March to the end of April.
In the Netherlands, summer vacation is among the shortest in Europe. It lasts about 6 weeks, usually from mid-July to late August.
In New Zealand, the summer vacation typically starts around mid-December, and ends in late January, which is usually 6 weeks. Senior secondary school students in Year 11, 12 and 13 finish in mid-November. But summer vacation still does not start until mid-December.
In Nigeria, summer vacation begins towards the end of July and ends halfway through September.It typically lasts from one month to two months.
In Norway, summer vacation typically lasts from mid June to mid August, for a minimum of 8 weeks.
In Oman, summer vacation starts in late June and ends in early September (2 months).
In Pakistan, summer vacation lasts for two months depending on the type of school (public or private). On average there are 2 months of summer vacation from late May to early August.
In Panama, summer vacation starts in early December on both types of school (public or private), and ends in late February. (3 months)
In Paraguay, summer holidays start in December and end in February (2 months).
In the Philippines, summer holidays for kindergarten, elementary, and high schools typically start on the third week of March and end in the first to third week of June. This coincides with the country's tropical dry season months from March to May. Colleges and universities, however, offer summer classes for students who wants to take advanced subjects or those who fail to pass the prerequisites for the next school year. School year begins in the first week of June, the start of Philippines' wet season.
In Poland, summer vacation starts in late June and ends on the first weekday of September. Students usually spend 1–3 hours at school to pick up their report cards on their last day of school.
In Portugal, summer vacation starts in mid-June, and finishes in the middle of September.
In Russia, summer vacation starts on May 25 with the end of an old school year (for 1st–8th and 10th grades) and ends on September 1 with the beginning of a new school year. For 9th and 11th grades, due to exams (EGE), the vacation starts in the middle (9th grade) or in the end (11th grade) of June.
In Romania, summer vacation starts in the penultimate week of June and ends on September 15 (3 months).
In Saudi Arabia, the summer vacation starts at the Beginning of June and ends in the mid-September.
In Singapore, summer vacation varies depending on which part of the education system the student is in, due to the varying structure of academic years. One full academic year for primary and secondary schools is from January till November; for polytechnics, it is from April till February; for universities, it is from August until May. For primary school students, it lasts from mid-November until January (6 weeks) for primary school students. For secondary school students not taking O levels and Junior College students not taking A levels, it starts from the beginning of November until January(around 2 months). For polytechnic students, it is from mid February until mid April. For university students, it is from early May until August.
In Slovakia, summer break lasts from June 30 until September 1 (2 months).
In Slovenia, the final exams are usually taken from mid-May to mid-June (high schools) or in June (primary schools). Last day of school is June 24 and school −begins on September 1.
In South Africa, summer holidays usually begin around early December and end in mid-January. Winter Break lasts from June to July, and there are 10 days of Easter holidays.
In South Korea, summer vacation starts in mid-July and ends in late August. The South Korean summer vacation takes place within a school year, too.
In Spain, the school year finishes in late June and begins in mid-September. Vacation varies by region.
In Suriname, summer vacation usually starts in mid-July and ends in late-August. In 2012, a change of summer vacation was proposed by several legislators having summer vacation the same time as the Caribbean Community. The proposed plan is summer vacation starts from mid-August and ends in early-October.
In Sweden, summer vacation is between the spring and autumn term. Normally it lasts from mid-June to late August (a minimum of 9–10 weeks, differs for each county). In Sweden, students end their term, either at a church or in their school, singing traditional summer songs like Den blomstertid nu kommer (normally only the first 2 verses).
In Switzerland, summer vacation is for six weeks and starts at early July and ends in mid-August.
In Syria, summer vacation starts on June 1 and ends on September 1 (3 months)
In Taiwan (Republic of China), summer vacation starts on early July (late June for University students) and ends in late August (mid-September for University students).
In Thailand, summer vacation begins in late February to early March and ends in mid-May.
In Turkey, summer vacation starts in mid-June and ends in mid-September (3 months).
In Tunisia, summer vacation for the middle school (7th–9th grade) and high school starts on June 15 and ends on September 14. Primary schools are off to vacation on June 1 and end on September 14.
In England and Wales, summer holidays usually start in the second half of July for state schools, and last until early September – normally a duration of six or seven weeks. In addition, schools have three one-week-long half-term breaks (one at the end of October, one in mid February and one in late May or early June) as well as two weeks off for Christmas and two weeks off for Easter – bringing the total number of weeks off per year to 13. Dates in the independent sector are likely to differ in that schools typically offer an extra week's holiday at the beginning and end of each of the long vacations – i.e. four weeks for Christmas and Easter and eight to ten weeks in summer.
In Northern Ireland, most schools' summer vacation starts in early July and runs through to the start of September. Students doing exams (GCSE and A-Levels) often get "Study-Leave" from May and do the exams sometime in June.
In Scotland, school summer holidays start in late June and last for about six or seven weeks, with most schools returning around August 20. In addition to summer holidays, Scottish schools have one or two weeks in October, two weeks at Christmas and two weeks at Easter. They also have a week off in Mid-February. They have two bank holidays in May/June, and one in September.
In the United States, summer vacation lasts two to three months. The dates vary depending on the location of the school district, with two major formats. One is from early June to early September, the other major format lasting from late May to late August. Students also get a few days off in November for American Thanksgiving, two weeks off for Christmas and New Year's, and one or two weeks in March or April for Spring Break. In some rare schools, students also get a week off in February for President's Day, and a week off in October for Fall Break (usually the week of Columbus Day).
In Uruguay, summer holidays usually begin in early December, and finish in early March (3 months). Students have one week for Easter Holidays, another week for Spring Holidays, and two weeks for the Holiday season.
In Venezuela, summer holidays begin in late June or early July and end in late September or early October.
In Vietnam, summer holidays usually begins in early June or late May and lasts for two months. It's usually around June to August or late May to late July. Vietnamese students also have a week off for Lunar New Year which is around late January or mid-February. Along with other holidays including Independence Day (Vietnam) on September 2, International Labour Day and Reunification Day
- Lieszkovszky, Ida. "Six Reasons Students Get Summer Off (And The Agrarian Calendar Isn’t One of Them)". National Public Radio. Retrieved March 10, 2014.
- Gold, Kenneth (Spring 2002). "From vaction to Summer School: The Transformation of Summer Education in New York City, 1894-1915". History of Education Quarterly 42 (1).
- Gold, Kenneth (2002). Schools In: The History of Summer Educaiotn in American Public Schools. New York: Lang Publishing. ISBN 0-8204-5657-8.
- Urban, Wayne J.; Jennings L. Wagoner Jr. (2009). American Education A History. New York: Routledge. p. 28. ISBN 978-0-415-96529-3.
- Weiss, Joel; Robert S. Brown (December 2003). "Telling Tales Over Time: Constructing and Deconstructing the School Calendar". Teachers College Record 105 (9).
- Curtis, Henry. "Henry Curtis". Wikipedia. Retrieved March 10, 2014.
- Curtis, Henry (1923). "The Summer Vacation". Child Welfare Magazine 17 (11): 471.
- History of the Summer Vacation
- Johns Hopkins University, Center for Summer Learning, Summer Learning Fact Sheet: Doesn't Every Child Deserve a Memorable Summer?
- Time Magazine A Brief History Of: Summer Vacation
- "Outliers: The Story of Success". New York: Little, Brown, Inc., 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-14.
- holiday calendar