IELTS Cue Card Sample 69 - Describe a holiday you have recently celebrated

IELTS Speaking Part 2: IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card.

Describe a holiday you have recently celebrated.

You should say:

  • what holiday it was
  • how you celebrated it
  • who was with you

and explain why celebrating this holiday was important to you.



Model Answer 1:
Talking about holidays is one of my favourite subjects because it usually carries some fun and memorable experiences. In fact, some of these fun and great experiences are still very much fresh in my memory, as I have recently celebrated an important holiday, which I want to talk about in a moment.

The holiday, I want to talk about, was one of the important national holidays of Bangladesh, celebrated in order to mark the beginning of a new Bengali calendar year, which is, of course, different from the new English or Gregorian calendar year. This time, the holiday was marked on 14th of April, and all the offices, schools, banks and other important establishments of my county remained closed on that day.

This holiday coincides with one of the major harvesting periods of my country and celebrated in order to carry forward our Bengali cultural heritage, and its pride, with a festive mood all over my country.  Anyway, the holiday is marked with singing, processions, and fairs. Traditionally, businesses start this day with a new ledger, clearing out the old one. Singers perform traditional songs welcoming the New Year. People enjoy classical “theatrical” plays and performances, and they also wear festive dresses, with women, decorating their hair with flowers especially.

People of Bangladesh prepare and enjoy varieties of traditional festive food during this holiday which may include "panta bhat" (watered rice), "ilish bhaji" (fried Hilsa fish) and lots of special "bhartas" (mashed vegetables and fishes). I also enjoyed this great holiday with some of my friends by attending a fair, visiting some of my relatives, as well as by eating some traditional food items at one of my favourite restaurants of my hometown.

Anyway, this holiday was important to me because it allowed me to visit some of my dear friends and relatives whom I haven’t met in a long time. Besides, it also allowed me to recover from the fatigue of a busy working life, by helping me enjoy my time in the company of my family and friends, which was well overdue.


 

Sample Answer 2:
A recent holiday that I celebrated was the "Eid-ul-Fitr" and the celebration took place a few months ago. Eid-ul-Fitr is one of the major festivals in our country, and it is an important holiday for Muslims all around the world. I celebrated it with my parents, siblings, friends and relatives in my hometown and it was one of the best holidays of my life. Each year this day is widely celebrated by the Muslims with great enthusiasm, fervour and religious norm. 

I had 4 days off for the occasion and I was in my hometown in those days. Before the Eid day, I did some shopping for my family members and relatives. On the Eid day, I wake up early in the morning, took a shower and went to the Mosque to say my prayer. We wore new clothes on the day and my mom cooked several delicious food items at home. We went to visit some of our neighbours and relatives in the evening and spent a great day with joy and happiness with friends and relatives.

This Eid day is very significant for Muslims and they celebrate it with great joy and religious norm. For me, this is religiously important and I can be with my family members on this occasion.  


 

Sample Answer 3:
Recently I got a holiday for about 4-5 days based on our office holiday calendar on occasion of Christmas and I really enjoyed this holiday. After scheduled work and several deadlines, this was a much desired and deserved holiday for me and I went to visit my hometown during those days. I asked one of my very close friends to visit my hometown and he was excited to travel with me. After we reached our hometown, I made a plan to introduce the life and custom of our hometown to my friends and we visited almost more than 5 famous places in our locality.

On the third day, we had a family and friends picnic and we had this picnic in the garden of our home. That was really enjoyable as I had been with the friends and family members I really care about. I and my friends watched some new movies on my laptop and we watched movies almost every night.

This was an important holiday because I needed a break after a series of hard work in the office. Meeting 5-6 deadlines month after month was a bit stressful for me and I was eagerly waiting for this holidays. In terms of refreshment, relief and enjoyment this was one of the best holidays ever for me.


 

Tips for Answering this Cue Card Topic:

Some IELTS candidate would be confused just after reading the topic of this cue card and would try to find out what holiday he/she should talk about and if this is really a holiday. Just be assured that the topic has not asked you to talk about a national/religious or widely celebrated holiday. So you are free to talk about any sort of holiday you want. Since people know well about the major celebration and widely celebrated holidays, it is, in fact, a good idea to talk about such a holiday. But keep in mind that since the question asks you to talk about your celebration of a recent holiday, talking about a holiday you had 10 months earlier might seem a bit unusual to the examiner, of course, if this is not the real case for you!

A holiday can be a calendar day that is celebrated by people, does not matter if this is a tribe-specific celebration or a widely celebrated holiday like New Year eve, Christmas or Eid. The holiday is slightly different from the weekly days off and you should not talk about your celebration on a day off.

Mention a holiday, the purpose and what you did during this holiday for this cue card. Even the summer holidays declared by the university for the students that you can talk about as well.

Since the first question of this topic asks you to mention ‘what holiday it was’, you are expected to give a clear and concise definition of the holiday you would like to talk about. Keep in mind that, the holiday might be for one day and can be multiple days as well. So you should not restrict yourself to a holiday which lasts for one day.
The second and third questions are pretty similar and you can answer these two questions at a time. Just mention your activities during this holiday and do not make it dull by saying that you have been at home all days and watched movies or played a game while eating pizza! The examiner would be expecting you to give an exciting and memorable holiday celebration. Unless you are a gifted speaker, talk about some interesting things, activities and unusual things you did during this period to make your speaking more interesting.

The final question of this cue card is a bit tricky as it asks you to give your opinion rather than describing events; you should actually be good at this part. Like any other good presentation, a god ending in a cue card speaking part would ensure a better score in speaking part.

 

Part 3 – Two-way discussion:

Q. What is the concept of holidays in your country?

Q. Why are holidays so important to modern people?

Q. Do you think it is necessary to observe the traditional customs?

Q. What changes in terms of spending festivals and holidays have taken place in the past decade?

Q. What is the difference as regards celebration in different parts of the country?

Q. In your opinion should we spend holidays as we like or according to the tradition?
 

If you can talk about this cue card topic, you should be able to answer the following topics as well:

1.  Describe a celebration you recently enjoyed.
2.  Describe a trip you recently had.
3.  Describe a national festival in your country.
4.  Describe a journey you recently had.
5.  Describe how you usually celebrate your holidays.
6.  Describe the common activities of people in your country during the holidays.

 

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Mohammad Atiqur Rahman
It would be convenient for the IELTS candidate if sample answers are given for Part-3 (two-way question).