School Holidays: Who Enjoys the Longest Breaks?

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Here at Viking, we take pride in knowing how cultures can differ with international colleagues, such as how they approach business and even the phrases they use every day. These differences aren’t limited to just the adults, as school holidays in different countries can dictate when people are available and be the source of some serious cross-continental jealously!

Due to the differences in culture and school systems, some countries grant their pupils a greater number of holidays throughout the year, whereas others give far fewer. For example, Belgium and France enjoy an extra day off at Easter compared to us, though Bosnia only grants a single day’s holiday!

Who Enjoys the Most Holidays?

To see which country enjoys the most time off, and how the UK fares in comparison, we researched all the celebrations around Europe and counted the holidays granted to their school kids. So, who enjoys the longest breaks?


Some countries were bolstered by holidays not shared by us in the UK, such as Whitsun (which can bring between a day and a full school week off in countries such as Denmark and Luxembourg) and many countries giving time off towards the end of May for Ascension Day.

The UK showed to be just one school week below the average amount of time off, with 73 days’ holiday throughout the year. School’s rarely out in the Czech Republic, who came bottom of our research with 56 days, whereas Bulgaria topped Europe with a colossal 102 days off!

When Do These Holidays Fall?

You may think that’s unfair, but when looking at when those holidays fall through the year, the UK kids enjoy a greater balance with their breaks, as you can see below:


Would you trade in days off at Christmas to enjoy a bigger summer holiday? Bulgarian schoolkids enjoy the entire twelve-week summer off school (from June through to August), though they also don’t celebrate Christmas, meaning their first break of the new school year doesn’t come until January 1st.

What Do Other Countries Celebrate?

Some European countries may have a greater number of holidays thanks to celebrating national holidays we don’t. Here are just a handful of days celebrated in different European countries:

Ascension Day – commemorating the ascension of Christ, the fortieth day of Easter is celebrated and given as a holiday in many European countries including Belgium, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Labour Day – many countries, including Belgium, Finland, and Portugal, celebrate International Workers Day on the 1st May with a day off. The regular demonstrations hosted on this day certainly suggest a call from many UK people for the day off, too!

Knabenschiessen – while not an official holiday in Zürich, schools (and several businesses) close to celebrate this target shooting competition on the second weekend of September each year. Knabenschiessen is one of the oldest festivals in Switzerland, dating back to the 17th century.

Tag der Deutschen Einheit – also known as the Day of German Unity, Germany celebrates the anniversary of the reunification of East and West Germany into a united country on 3rd October 1990.

Immaculate Conception – Italy and Liechtenstein both celebrate the conception of Christ on 8th December, which falls on a Friday this year meaning schools will be closed.

We service schools all over the globe with the supplies they need to keep on going, and with so many celebrations across different cultures, it seems like school is always out somewhere no matter what time of the year!

Do you have any family holiday plans this Easter? Or just looking forward to some time off? Let us know on Twitter at @viking_chat.