Latest Cue Card
Describe a national festival in your country
- when it takes place?
- why it takes place?
- what people do during that festival?
- explain why this festival is important to you?
Sample Answer One
Our country is a secular nation where people of different religions live together. So, there are lots of festivals that people celebrate across the nation. But, I think Diwali is a festival that is celebrated all over India among people of different religions and customs.
Diwali is a festival of lights. Interestingly, its date depends on the Indian astrologers. But, normally, it is celebrated in the last week of October or the first week of November. This festival signifies the victory of the good over evil. The preparations and rituals typically extend over a five-day period, but the main festival night of Diwali coincides with the darkest, new moon night of the Hindu calendar month called Kartika.
It is believed that on this day, Rama, a Hindu god, came back to India after defeating Ravana, a demon. It was also the end of his 14 years of exile. Before Diwali, people clean, renovate and decorate their homes and offices. On that day, people dress up in new clothes or their best outfits and light up oil lamps made from clay inside and outside their homes. They participate in family prayers to Lakshmi – the goddess of wealth and prosperity.
After prayers, a family feast including delicious sweets begins. This is followed by fireworks and the exchange of gifts between family members and close friends. Diwali is important to me because it brings the whole family together. We are living in a world where people are migrating and have less time, but for us, no matter what the work is, no matter where we are Diwali means a Reunion. The entire family is together and we exchange talks and laughs together.
Sample Answer Two
India is a land of different cultures and people from all walks of life call it home. It has many traditions, customs, and different religions. Festivals are an important part of a religion as they give us reasons to celebrate and different festivals have different significances. Even though there are many different festivals which are celebrated with great joy and happiness in our country, my favorite festival is Christmas. It’s a Christian festival celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ which falls on the 25th of December every year.
It’s that time of the year when the wind is cold and the woolen jackets are out. Schools are closed for winter break and the streets are lit up with lights of different colors. Luckily as I live in the northern part of the country I have been able to celebrate a few white Christmas over the course of years. My city has a lot of Anglo-Indian heritage so a lot of locals flock the church on Christmas Eve to light up a candle. It is beautiful to witness such communal harmony as the majority of the population in the city itself are Hindus.
It’s a great time for business and locals who work in the tourist sector as loads of tourist come to visit the nearby hill station. Shopping malls and local markets are filled with customers and plenty of attractive discounts are also available in these festive times. We celebrate with a traditional dinner at our home and all the friends and family gather to sing carols. Some great homemade wine is served to all those in attendance and we exchange presents with one another. In the end, it’s all about tradition and even though my entire family lives in different corners of the world, everyone manages to find the time and come home for Christmas to spend some great time with the loved ones. The spirit of Christmas brings us all together.
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