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Describe a festival that is important in your country

IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card 172 with Model Answer:

Describe a festival that is important in your country.

You should say:

   - when the festival is celebrated
   - what people do during this festival
   - what you like or dislike about it

and explain why this festival is important in your country. 

[You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you're going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.]

Model Answer 1:
Pakistan is considered as an Islamic State and thus there are some religious festivals which are important in my country.

The people of Pakistan mostly observe two religious festivals, Eid Ul Adha and Eid Ul Fitr and between the festivals, Eid Ul Fitr is the most important one and comes after a month long of fasting. The festival takes place at the end of the Holy month of Ramadan. Usually, the Muslims fast during the month of Ramadan, and this is a divine order and is considered as a pillar of the religion. The fasting hour begins with the rising of the sun and ends at the sunset. The Eid Ul Fitr takes place after the month-long fasting as a reward for them. They stop fasting from the Eid day and resume their regular life. This is really an extraordinary festival for us and I am proud of it. On the day, people in Pakistan pray in open fields in the morning which is known as Eid prayer. After the prayer, they meet and greet the other people and take foods. Wearing new dresses is another feature of this festival and people are seen in new dresses.

There are many activities on the Eid day. Usually, people resume their regular lifestyle. During the fasting, eating or drinking after the sunrise and before the sunset is prohibited. Besides, some other specific tasks are also banned during the daytimes and people in Pakistan come back to the regular activities. Usually, they invite the other people on the day after the prayer and take delicious foods and sweets in the morning. Often rich foods are cooked for lunch or for dinner. This is the most awaited festival for the Muslim citizens of Pakistan. Sometimes they move out for visiting the neighbours and relatives. Exchanging greeting and small gifts is a common scene on the day. Most of the houses are filled with guests and people entertain or get entertained at the houses. Truly this is an event of joy for all of the Muslims living here.

I like to get up early in the morning and get ready for attending the mass prayer on the day. I also like the festival more than anything but slightly dislike the foods especially the sweets. Almost all of the houses make foods and 60 per cent of the food tastes sweet. At times, it becomes intolerable to consume too many sweet-flavoured food items in a single day. However, I like the greetings most. We greet people and embrace them three times. Interestingly, on this day, anyone can greet and embrace anyone even if they are not familiar. Moreover, people help the destitute people marking the day and share their joys and sorrows. One thing should be mentioned here that the bonding among the people is outstanding and clearly represents the fellow feelings for each other on this day.

The festival is important in Pakistan for many reasons. The first and the most important issue is that Pakistan is an Islamic country and majority of the citizens are Muslims. So, all the Islamic rules and regulations are followed here. People say their prayers regularly and follow the norms dictated in Islam. Accordingly, they continuously fast for a month. They try to reshape them with the divine instructions and try to apply the learning in their real life. Observance of Eid has been made as the part of following the religion. So, it is a must for each of the Muslims in Pakistan to observe the festival. This is not imposed rather the Muslims observe the day by their own will and participate in different activities which are made legal by the religion.

Model Answer 2:
I think everyone might have heard the name of The Cannes Festival. This is one of the most important festivals in my country, France. Formerly, it was known as the International Film Festival. This is an annual film festival in the country. Thank you for the nice question. I will describe the event in brief.

This is one of the glorious festivals of the world. It is usually celebrated in May each year. A large number of people from around the world come here to enjoy the shows and get rewarded with prestigious prizes. The festival mostly previews films from all genres and the filmmakers across the world come here with their productions. The festival began in 1946 and since then it is going on smoothly in the town of Cannes in French Rivera.

The festival is for those who are related to filmmaking and film enthusiasts. They gather here and enjoy the films and award ceremonies. In fact, this is a destination for every film lover in the world and they want to be here at least once in a lifetime. Almost all the filmmakers try to win the prestigious Palme d’Or for their contribution in enriching the global film industry. Favourite films stars, filmmakers, producers and other artists gather here and enjoy themselves.

I like some of the specific things about the festival. First of all, it is a gathering of the people whom we seem on the silver screen. It is really a blessing to get all the people in a single place. Besides, the meeting of the global people also helps create bonding among the people. People from different countries come here and enjoy themselves which also helps to boost the local economy. This is another positive aspect of the festival that I like most. Besides, enjoying films before their official release is another important matter of this festival that attracts my attention.

The festival is important for France. But this is a non-public festival where only the media people are allowed to participate. This is the annual gathering of the global people related to films and thus has brought fame to the country. The award given from the festival is prestigious and many of the filmmakers wait for the festival round the year to claim their recognition. By holding the festival in its lands, France feels proud. It offers the best facilities to the participants so that they could enjoy themselves. In exchange, the local economy is bloomed. The festival has become the showcase of European films and awards. This is also the symbol of France’s aristocracy and pride that has made the country different from the other European nations.

Idea generation for this cue card topic: 

1.  Gion Matsuri is a popular festival in Japan. It takes place in the month of July every year and lasts until the last day of the month. People dressed in the festival attires parade the street. They take part in processions in different streets of the city. They share their views and opinions and interact with each other. I am a bit frustrated with the overcrowding issues. In fact, a large number of tourists gather to enjoy the festival which often hampers the procession movement. So, it becomes difficult to move with the procession. The festival is important because it represents some of the traditional cultures of our country.   

2.  Oktoberfest is one of the most popular festivals in Munich, Germany. People enjoy themselves during the festival. In fact, crowds gather across the city and drink different types of beer and traditional food. But it needs a prior reservation to attend the festival. Everything is fine with the festival but I cannot agree with the registration or reservation process. Many of the Germans miss the event as they cannot do the reservation. This is an important festival because it helps spread social interaction among citizens.

3.  A notable number of music festivals take place across the year in the UK. In fact, there are no specific seasons for the festival. People come here and enjoy various types of music. They love to listen to music and some of the listeners start dancing in the venues. I love the music festival very much for several reasons. This is the place where a number of musicians arrive from different places. The festivals are important as it creates a platform for aspiring musicians and a gathering space for the old.

4.  National Apple Harvest Festival is a wonderful one in the USA. The festival takes place on the first two weekends of October each year. During this time, people pick apples from across the country. They also have the chances to drink the fresh apple juice. I like the festival as it allows people to pick the apple and make different types of fun. Besides, the live music at the festival venue is really interesting. So, a remarkable crowd gathers in the venue. This is an important festival because it helps relieve the worries that people undergo throughout the year.

5.  In Singapore, several festivals take place around the year and the 'World Gourmet Summit' is one of them. This is mostly a food festival and people come here to enjoy themselves. They taste various types of food and drinks that are made in traditional ways. The festival lasts for three-weeks in different venues in the country in April every year. I love the festival as it allows everyone to take part in. People from home and abroad are allowed to take part here. In fact, this is an important festival for the country as it allows spreading the local cultural elements of the country to people across the world.

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