The main summer break varies between the countries of the UK.
In Ireland, second level school holidays last from the beginning of June until the beginning of September unless a student is doing Junior or Leaving Certificate exams. For Northern Ireland, school summer holidays usually begin near the end of June and continue on until the start of September.
In Scotland, school summer holidays start around the end of June and last for about 7 weeks, with most schools returning in the middle of August. Scottish schools get the fewest days off in the whole of the United Kingdom.
In Austria, the summer holidays are mostly between late June and early September. Autumn break (late October), Easter break and the mid-term break (late February) all last for a week. There are also four free days during Pentecost and various free days during religious holidays (assumption day, ascension day, Corpus Christi etc).
In Canada, summer holidays/break from school is July and August, with students returning to school in the first week of September.
In Czech Republic, the summer holidays begin with the end of school year on 30th June and ends with beginning of new school year in first week of September. Then there are autumn holidays, it is two days plus 28.10. (day of creating czechoslovakia). The winter (christmas) holidays last usually from 22.12. to 2.1.. There is also half term one day holiday on 31.1. The spring holydays are a week long and takes range from february to march, depending on region, sometimes they continue with easter holidays (the green thursday, great friday and easter monday). There are also free days such as 1.5. and 8.5. and 28.9. The school director also have right to add up to three more free days during school year. The school holidays are determined by Ministry of Schools for each school year and are valid for every basic and high school.
In Estonia, summer holidays last for three months from June to August. Christmas holidays last for two weeks, autumn and spring holidays both one week.
In Germany, summer holidays are mostly between July and late August with regional differences. Some regions begin as early as beginning / mid June, some end as late as start of September. They last 6 weeks. Other holidays are around Easter (usually 2 weeks) and Pentecost, in autum (usually 1 week) as well as mid / end of December - beginning of January.
In Japan, school holidays take place from the end of March through the beginning of April, from the end of July until the end of August, and over the New Year period from 24 December to 7 January.
In Norway, school holidays vary by region. For example, recognised bank holidays fall on different days in Østfold and Oslo, Christmas holiday is a few days longer in Aust-Agder.
In England & Wales (United Kingdom), there are a number of school holidays. The academic year usually begins during the first week of September, this period up until Christmas is known as Autumn Term. In the last week of October, there is a week off known as half term, which is the halfway point between Summer and Christmas holidays. The Christmas holiday usually begins a few days before 25 December and ends a few days after 1 January. Again, there is a week off half way through the term (Spring Term) and a 2 week break for Easter. After Easter is summer term and the 3rd half term break is the half way point to the summer holidays. Summer itself usually begins towards the end of July.
In the USA, secondary schools typically start their classes in August or September and end in May or June, with both spring breaks and Christmas holidays being included. In universities on the quarter system, Christmas holiday directly begins at the end of the autumn quarter, spring break is at the end of winter quarter, and summer break is at the end of spring quarter. It varies from school to school, depending on the scheduling system. Some universities on a trimester also have an autumn break.
School holidays have many effects on a country, ranging from the price of a vacation, which is increased while children are off school, to an increased crime rate. There can also possibly be a decrease in traffic levels on some school run routes and other commuter roads as people take vacation time from work to spend time with their children.
Countries like Germany, where many commuters use the highway to get to their holiday destinations, separate holidays into regions, decreasing the number of overlapping holiday beginnings and therefore reducing the risk of traffic jams during these high-traffic periods.