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American students enjoying spring break at a party in Negril, Jamaica, 2009

Spring break, known variously as Easter vacation, Easter holiday, Easter break, spring vacation, mid-term break, study week, reading week, reading period, Easter week or March break, is a vacation period including Easter holidays in early Northern Hemisphere spring at universities and schools, which has been observed in Europe since the late 19th century, was introduced during the 1930s in the US, and is observed in many other countries. Spring Break can be associated with riotous partying at warm weather locations.[1]

By country



In Japan, the spring break starts with the end of the academic year in late March and ends around April 7 with the beginning of a new academic year.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong follows the British tradition of an Easter break of about one and a half weeks.


In Iran, spring break starts at Nowruz and ends on Sizdah Bedar, All Iranians have the same spring break.


Macau follows the Portuguese tradition of Easter break.


Before 1917 there was an Easter Break in schools. In the Soviet Union, spring break was always from March 24 to 31. Now, many schools in Russia still have the spring break, but the exact date is decided by the school itself. In the majority of cases it is set in the middle of April. Also, the public holidays in May, connected with Labour day and Victory day, can be an accurate equivalent of the spring break.

South Korea

In South Korea, the spring break originally lasted for two weeks in February with the new school year starting afterwards in March. However, due to a change in the academic calendar in 2015, the spring break was changed to a 1-week break in the first week of May, around Children's Day (although some schools still keep it in February).[citation needed]

Colleges only take the Children's Day itself off.[citation needed]


In Taiwan, spring break usually refers to the consecutive days off of Tomb Sweeping Day and Children's Day.

UAE (United Arab Emirates)

In UAE, spring break is usually two or three weeks long from late March to early/middle of April. It usually depends on the school or the emirate.


Czech Republic

In the Czech Republic, only primary and secondary school students have a spring break. The break is one week long and the date of the break differs from county to county to avoid overcrowding of the break destinations in the Czech Republic (Czechs usually travel to the mountains to ski there). The counties are divided into six groups, each group containing counties evenly distributed across the country. The first group starts the holiday on the first Monday of February, the last group starts the holiday five weeks later (usually in early March). The last group of counties becomes the first one to have the spring break the next year.


Before 2017, the spring break in Georgia was typically an Easter holiday, lasting from Thursday to Tuesday in Holy Week. In 2017 Minister of Education and Science Aleksandre Jejelava instead set the period from March 8 to 15 as a holiday for those in education, from preschool to university.


In Germany, universities typically schedule a semester break of five to eight weeks around March. The Whitsun (Pentecost) holidays around late May or early June are also considered a spring break.[2]


In Greece, spring break takes place during Holy Week and the week following.[citation needed]


In Lithuania, spring break (called Easter holidays or spring holidays) takes place one week before Easter and one day after it (as it is the second day of Easter), all school students have this vacation. Primary school students have another week of holidays after Easter.

The Netherlands

In the Netherlands, a week-long break is given to high school students and students in higher education in the early stages of spring (February-March). There are regional differences between mostly the north and south of the country in when this break takes place, because of carnival, which is mostly celebrated in the southern parts of The Netherlands.[3]


In Portugal, spring break is mostly known as "Easter Holidays" and it gives two weeks to all students around the country.


Before 1917 there was an Easter Break in schools. In the Soviet Union, spring break was always from March 24 to 31. Now, many schools in Russia still have the spring break, but the exact date is decided by the school itself. In the majority of cases it is set in the middle of April. Also, the public holidays in May, connected with Labour day and Victory day, can be an accurate equivalent of the spring break.


Slovakia gives a week-long break to its elementary school and secondary school students in the months of February and March. Instead of vacationing in warm weather destinations, the Slovaks mostly associate spring breaks with skiing. The break is one week long and the date of the break differs from region to region to avoid overcrowding of the break destinations in the Slovak Republic. The regions are divided into three groups, the first group starts the holiday on the end of February, the last group starts the holiday two weeks later (in early March).

There is also another shorter Easter break from Holy Thursday to the following Tuesday.


In Spain, there is no spring break as such; Holy Week is celebrated, and students usually have holidays during these days.

United Kingdom

The Easter Break is typically over 2 weeks in either late March or April, depending on when Easter Sunday falls.[4]

North America


Canadian provinces give a one or two-week-long break to its elementary school and secondary school students in the month of March, with the time varying from province to province; New Brunswick and Quebec, for example, place their March breaks during the first week of March; Nova Scotia, and British Columbia schedule theirs during the second or third week; the break in Alberta and Manitoba usually occurs in the last week of March.

In primary and secondary school, this break is called "March break" and in higher education it is usually "reading week" or "reading break". Neither example is commonly associated with the party culture of American spring break. "Mid-term break" is a generic term. Reading week in Canada usually coincides with Family Day in the month of February.


In Jamaica, the spring break starts in the first week of Good Friday. The break may range from one week to two weeks, often two. This break starts depending on which month the Easter holiday begins, March or April.


In Mexico, spring break takes place during the Holy Week and the one after it.[5]

United States

In the mid-1930s, a swimming coach from Colgate University decided to take his team down to Florida for some early training at a brand-new Olympic-size pool in sunny Fort Lauderdale. The idea clicked with other college swim coaches and soon the spring training migration became an annual tradition for swimmers nationwide. Now, spring break is an academic tradition in various mostly western countries that is scheduled for different periods depending on the state and sometimes the region.

In the United States, spring break at universities, colleges, and many K-12 school systems can take place from March to April, depending on term dates and when Easter holiday falls. Spring break is usually a week or two long, although some schools schedule it for the last week of March, with separate days off for the Easter holiday.

Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras

In Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, it takes place during Easter; schoolchildren have a week off, and teaching staff typically three days.[citation needed]

South America


In Colombia, the Easter break is Holy Week and the following week, in the southern hemisphere autumn.


In Chile, many schools and universities take vacations in the middle of September in the southern hemisphere spring, coinciding with the celebration of the country's Patriotic Holidays.

Spring break festivals

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Large annual spring break festivities take place in various countries, often in the form of music festivals and joined by special nightclub parties, beach activities and accommodation offers. People on the Easter break may travel to other countries.


The South Pacific takes spring break in November. Some tour companies charter out entire island resorts for the festivities.[6]


Cook Islands


European party destinations are increasingly becoming popular for international spring break guests.[9] Tour agencies have cited the lower drinking ages in these places and that even then, they are rarely enforced. Some tour companies put on special chartered flights for spring break at discounted rates.


Spring break at Novalja (Zrće Beach), Croatia






North America



United States

In the US, many people take the holiday off. The holiday is celebrated near Easter, and many families hold easter egg hunts, or celebrate with Easter activities.

Panama City Beach, Florida

Starting in the late 1990s, Panama City Beach began advertising the destination hoping to attract crowds that had formerly gone to Fort Lauderdale and then Daytona Beach before those communities enacted restrictions. From 2010 to 2016, an estimated 300,000 students traveled to the destination. The spawn of social media and digital marketing helped boost the beach town into a student mecca during March. Following well-publicized shootings and a gang rape in 2015, several new ordinances were put into effect prohibiting drinking on the beach and establishing a bar closing time of 2 a.m. CT. Reports showed a drop in Panama City Beach's spring break turnout in March 2016,[26] followed by increased family tourism in April 2016. Both are attributed to the new ordinances by the Bay County Community Development Corporation (CDC).[27]

Daytona Beach, Florida

After Fort Lauderdale started discouraging college students from vacationing there for spring break in the mid-1980s, Daytona Beach mayor Larry Kelly appeared on national television to encourage college vacationers to come to Daytona Beach instead.[28][29] Soon after, beer and cigarette brands started advertising in Daytona Beach for spring break. MTV Spring Break coverage moved to Daytona Beach in 1986.[29][30]

Kelly later called that decision a mistake, as locals experienced many problems during spring break every year.[28][31][32] Kelly's efforts to rein in the revelry included promoting athletic competitions called "Spring Games" to channel youthful energy in a wholesome direction,[33] and proposing that hotels be billed for the cost of sending police to respond to calls during spring break.[34] In 1993, Kelly lost his bid for re-election as mayor, and Daytona Beach officials cut their spring break marketing budget and ties with MTV.[29][35]

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Fort Lauderdale's reputation as a spring break destination for college students started when the Colgate University men's swim team arrived to practice there over Christmas break in 1934.[36] Attracting approximately 20,000 college students in the 1950s, spring break was still known as 'Spring vacation' and was a relatively low key affair. This began to change when Glendon Swarthout's novel, Where the Boys Are was published in 1960, effectively ushering in modern spring break.[37] Swarthout's 1960 novel was quickly made into a movie of the same title later that year, Where the Boys Are, in which college girls met boys while on spring break there. The number of visiting college students immediately jumped to over 50,000.[38] By the early 1980s, Fort Lauderdale was attracting between 250,000 and 350,000 college students per year during spring break. Residents of the Fort Lauderdale area became so upset at the damage done by college students that the local government passed laws restricting parties in 1985. At the same time, the National Minimum Drinking Age Act was enacted in the United States, requiring that Florida raise the minimum drinking age from 18 to 21 and inspiring many underage college vacationers to travel to other competing locations in the United States for spring break. By 1989, the number of college students traveling to Fort Lauderdale fell to 20,000, a far cry from the 350,000 who went four years prior.[38][39]

South Padre Island, Texas

In the early 1980s, South Padre Island became the first location outside of Florida to draw a large number of college students for spring break. With only a few thousand residents, South Padre Island consistently drew 80,000 to 120,000 spring breakers into the 2000s.[40]

Corporate marketing

It is common for major brands that cater to the youth market, such as Coca-Cola, Gillette, MTV, and branches of the United States Armed Forces, to market at spring break destinations.[clarification needed]

See also


  1. ^ Laurie, John (2008). Spring break: The Economic, Socio-Cultural and Public Governance Impacts of College Students on Spring break Host Locations. p. 17. ISBN 9781109023091.
  2. ^ – About semester breaks in Germany (German)
  3. ^ Zaken, Ministerie van Algemene (December 8, 2009). "Schoolvakanties -". (in Dutch). Retrieved April 10, 2023.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "20 Dumb Mistakes to Avoid in Cancun, Mexico". LUXURY under BUDGET. May 15, 2021. Retrieved May 17, 2021.
  6. ^ Island Party Fiji
  7. ^ "PM's son among Kiwi partygoers forced off Beachcomber Island by blaze". November 29, 2015. Retrieved March 21, 2020.
  8. ^ "What on earth is Spring Break?". Stuff. December 4, 2015. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  9. ^ Kressmann, Jeremy (February 10, 2009). "Budget Travel: European Spring break". Retrieved June 23, 2014.
  10. ^ Croatia Spring break
  11. ^ Spring break Island Croatia
  12. ^ "SPUTNIK SPRING BREAK – SPUTNIK SPRING BREAK 2018". MDR SPUTNIK. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  13. ^ Annual Baltic Spring break, Usedom Island, Germany
  14. ^ Firstpost video of Mykonos Spring break
  15. ^ Spring break 2011. Balaton, video
  16. ^ Spring break Rimini 2012, video
  17. ^ "Spring Break Ibiza 2018 – Parties & Accommodation – Stoke Travel". Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  18. ^ "Spring break 2018 : springbreak européen en Espagne Voyage étudiant Lloret Salou Jeunes etudiants Open Bar Festival". Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  19. ^ "Mallorca Spring Break -". Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  20. ^ 2015 SpringBreak Salou by Funbreak, video
  21. ^ "Spring Break 2018 in Montego Bay". Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  22. ^ "Spring Break 2017 in Nassau". Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  23. ^ "Punta Cana Spring Break 2018 Packages – STS Travel". Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  24. ^ "Spring Break 2017 in Acapulco, Mexico". Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  25. ^ Epic Spring break in Cancun, Mexico, video
  26. ^ Baumgarten, Kelly. "Some businesses see negative economic impact this spring break". Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  27. ^ LANDECK, KATIE. "Panama City reports record bed tax numbers in April". Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  28. ^ a b Quimby, Tom (June 3, 2015). "Florida spring break destinations tire of partyers' bad behavior, seek revenue elsewhere". The Washington Times. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
  29. ^ a b c Diaz, Johnny. "'Spring Broke' documentary on Fort Lauderdale-Daytona rivalry to air Friday". Retrieved May 29, 2018.
  30. ^ "A History of "MTV Spring Break," Part 1: The '80s". PAPER. March 28, 2012. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
  31. ^ "Daytona Beach May Kiss Spring Breakers Good-bye". tribunedigital-sunsentinel. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
  32. ^ "Daytona Debates Spring Break". tribunedigital-orlandosentinel. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
  33. ^ "Spring Games USA competes with bacchanalian traditions for minds and bodies of college students". Los Angeles Times. March 25, 1989. ProQuest 1249381954.
  34. ^ "Mayor: Bill Hotels for Police Calls Report Says $60,000 Spent for Spring Break Patrols". Orlando Sentinel. June 1, 1989. ProQuest 277532149.
  35. ^ "A History of "MTV Spring Break," Part 2: The 90s". PAPER. March 29, 2012. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
  36. ^ Marsh, Bill (March 19, 2006). "The innocent birth of the spring bacchanal". The New York Times.
  37. ^ Laurie, John (2008). Spring Break: The Economic, Socio-Cultural and Public Governance Effects of College Students on Spring break Host Locations. p. 12. ISBN 9781109023091.
  38. ^ a b George, Paul S. (1991). "Where the boys were" (PDF). South Florida History Magazine. No. 1. Historical Association of Southern Florida. pp. 5–8. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 2, 2019. Retrieved November 16, 2017 – via HistoryMiami.
  39. ^ Bohn, Lauren (March 30, 2009). "A brief history of spring break". Time. Archived from the original on March 31, 2009. Retrieved October 3, 2012.
  40. ^ Laurie, John (2008). Spring break: The Economic, Socio-Cultural and Public Governance Impacts of College Students of Spring break Host Locations. p. 66. ISBN 9781109023091.