Describe a Traditional Festival (or Tradition) that is Important in Your Country

IELTS Speaking Part 2: IELTS Cue Card

Describe a traditional festival (or tradition) that is important in your country.

You should say:

When the festival occurs?
What you do during it?
What you like or dislike about it?
And explain why this festival is important?

Note: You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you are going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.

Model Answer 1:

India is a land of diverse cultures and traditions, and Diwali is one of the most vibrant and colorful festivals celebrated in the country. Also known as the festival of lights, Diwali is a time of joy and togetherness when people celebrate the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness.

When the festival occurs?
Diwali usually occurs in October or November and lasts for five days. The exact date of the festival is determined by the Hindu lunar calendar.

What you do during it?
During Diwali, people light small clay lamps(diya) and decorate their homes with rangoli (colorful designs made with rice flour or colored powder) and burst firecrackers. They also exchange gifts and sweets with friends and family. Many people also worship Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity.

What you like or dislike about it?
One of the things I like about Diwali is the sense of community and togetherness it brings. People come together to celebrate and share in the festivities. The decorations and lights create a beautiful and festive atmosphere. However, the noise and air pollution caused by firecrackers can be a downside.

And explain why this festival is important?
Diwali is an important festival because it celebrates the victory of good over evil and light over darkness. It is also a time for new beginnings, as people clean their homes and wear new clothes. The festival has religious significance for Hindus, as it marks the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya after defeating the demon king Ravana. It is also associated with other stories from Hindu mythology.

Overall, Diwali is a joyous occasion that brings people together to celebrate light, love, and new beginnings.

Model Answer 2:


  • One of the most important festivals in India is Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights.
  • It is also my favourite festival.

When the festival occurs?

  • It is celebrated in the autumn season and usually falls between October and November.

What you do during it?

  • During Diwali, the entire country is immersed in a joyous and vibrant atmosphere.
  • The festival spans across five days, with each day having its own significance and rituals.
  • The preparations begin well in advance, as people clean and decorate their homes, buy new clothes, and exchange gifts with their loved ones.
  • On the main day of Diwali, people illuminate their homes with countless oil lamps, candles, and decorative lights.
  • Fireworks light up the night sky, adding to the festive spirit.
  • Families come together to perform traditional prayers and rituals, seeking blessings from deities.
  • Delicious sweets and savory dishes are prepared, and feasts are shared among relatives and neighbors.
  • People also visit temples and seek the blessings of the gods.

What you like or dislike about it?

  • What I particularly enjoy about Diwali is the sense of unity and togetherness it brings.
  • It is a time when people set aside their differences and come together to celebrate.
  • The vibrant decorations, mesmerizing lights, and the sparkle of fireworks create a magical ambiance.
  • It is also a time to express gratitude and appreciation for the blessings in our lives.
  • However, there are a few aspects of Diwali that I dislike.
  • The extensive use of firecrackers during the celebrations leads to noise and air pollution, which can be harmful to the environment and individuals with respiratory conditions.
  • The excessive consumerism associated with buying new clothes and gifts can also lead to materialistic tendencies.

And explain why this festival is important?

  • Diwali is an incredibly important festival in India for several reasons.
  • Firstly, it has deep religious significance for Hindus as it commemorates the return of Lord Rama, along with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana, from exile after defeating the demon king Ravana.
  • It symbolizes the victory of light over darkness and good over evil.
  • Moreover, Diwali is not just limited to Hindus but is celebrated by people of different faiths and communities across the country.
  • It serves as a unifying force, promoting harmony and inclusivity.


  • Finally, I believe that Diwali is a significant festival in India, celebrated with immense joy and enthusiasm.
  • It brings people together, spreads positivity, and signifies the triumph of light over darkness. Its religious, cultural, and social significance make it an integral part of Indian heritage and identity.

IELTS Speaking Part 3 : Follow up Questions

Here some examples of follow up questions that you may asked during your speaking part 3 by examiner related to cue card “describe a traditional festival (or tradition) that is important in your country”.

1. Are traditional holidays disappearing?
Traditional holidays are not disappearing completely, but they are undergoing transformations in response to societal changes. Modernization, globalization, and shifting cultural dynamics have influenced the way people celebrate these holidays. While some traditions may be modified or adapted, many traditional holidays still hold importance and continue to be celebrated, albeit with variations. Efforts are being made to preserve cultural heritage and promote the observance of traditional holidays through educational programs, cultural initiatives, and community events.

Overall, traditional holidays may evolve, but they remain an integral part of cultural identity and provide opportunities for connection and celebration.

2. Do children like to learn about traditional festivals?
Yes, many children have a natural curiosity and interest in learning about traditional festivals. Exploring the customs, rituals, and stories behind these celebrations can be fascinating and engaging for them. Learning about traditional festivals helps children understand and appreciate their cultural heritage, fosters a sense of belonging, and allows them to participate in age-old traditions that have been passed down through generations.

3. Is music important to traditional festivals?
Yes, music plays a significant role in traditional festivals. It adds a vibrant and festive atmosphere to the celebrations, setting the mood and enhancing the overall experience. Traditional music often accompanies specific rituals and performances during these festivals, carrying cultural significance and creating a sense of unity and joy among participants. It serves as a powerful medium to connect people with their heritage and preserve the cultural traditions associated with the festivals.

4. What is the importance of traditional festivals?
I think traditional festivals fulfil three functions. They connect us to our roots, our culture and our origins, giving us a sense of identity. Secondly, they bring families and friends together and lastly, they help us forget about our worries and stress.

5. What’s the difference between festivals now and in the past?
I think the main difference between festivals now and in the past is the purpose of celebration. Earlier people celebrated festivals for a purpose, but now people have forgotten the meaning behind the festivals. Festivals are only celebrated for joy and merriment.

6. Do you think western festivals like Christmas are replacing traditional festivals in your country?
Yes, one of the influences of western movies and Hollywood has been the coming of western festivals like Christmas and Halloween. From the past two-three years, even I decorate a tree and ask for gifts from my parents on Christmas. Similarly, in these past few years, I have seen children going for trick or treating on Halloween in my neighborhood.

7. Do you think it is wrong for children not to celebrate traditional festivals?
I wish children today are as passionate about celebrating traditional festivals as they are about celebrating western festivals. But I don’t think it is wrong. I think festivals are about fun and merriment and it does not matter, which festivals they are celebrating as long as they are enjoying themselves.

Important Vocabularies:

1. Diverse

showing a great deal of variety; very different.

India is known for its diverse cultures and traditions.

2. Festival

a day or period of celebration, typically for religious reasons. 

Diwali is a festival celebrated in India.

3. Lunar calendar

a calendar based on the cycles of the moon.

The date of Diwali is determined by the Hindu lunar calendar.

4. Diya

a small clay lamp used in India and other countries for religious and decorative purposes.

During Diwali, people light diyas to celebrate the festival of lights.

5. Rangoli

a traditional Indian art form in which colorful designs are created on the floor using materials such as rice flour or colored powder.

People decorate their homes with rangoli during Diwali.

6. Puja

an act of worship in Hinduism. 

Many people perform puja to Goddess Lakshmi during Diwali.

7. Mythology

a collection of myths, especially one belonging to a particular religious or cultural tradition.

The festival of Diwali is associated with stories from Hindu mythology.

8. Autumn

The season after summer and before winter, in the northern hemisphere from September to November and in the southern hemisphere from March to May. 

It is celebrated in the autumn season.

9. Rituals

A religious or solemn ceremony consisting of a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order.

The festival spans across five days, with each day having its own significance and rituals.

10. Oil lamps

A simple lamp that burns oil as a fuel.

On the main day of Diwali, people illuminate their homes with countless oil lamps.

11. Fireworks

A device containing gunpowder and other combustible chemicals that causes a spectacular explosion when ignited, used typically for display or in celebrations. 

Fireworks light up the night sky.

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Photo by Eduardo Casajús Gorostiaga on Unsplash

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