The term mostly refers to the summer holidays/vacations, as in the 'break from school/uni'. Winter break is called "ferie zimowe" ('ferie' is usually enough), Christmas and Easter breaks would usually be called "przerwa świąteczna" or "ferie świąteczne", there are also times known as "długi weekend" (a long weekend).
"wakacje" is also used for a trip that you take, espacially during the summer. "urlop" can also be used, but it technically means time off from your job.
Hi, person whose name and picture I can't see on the app, I'm not sure I'm able to reply to your comment (about "American holidays = Christmas") on the app either, I think I might have to make a new comment.
I believe 'święta' is the Polish word that corresponds to that sense of English 'holidays' - as in the phrase 'wesołych świąt' ~ 'happy holidays (merry Christmas)' (Christmas specifically is actually 'Boże Narodzenie' (not sure if it should be capitalised) ~ something like 'God's birth' literally). Marek, please correct any of this if I seem to have misunderstood anything.