Holidays could be a topic in part one of your IELTS Speaking test. You might be asked, “What is your favorite holiday?”
Let’s look at how to give a great answer to this question, including 10 example answers (go straight to the answers here).
What Does ‘Holiday’ Mean?
The most common meaning of ‘holiday’ is a public holiday or national holiday, which is a day when nobody works in your country.
This national day off work is usually to celebrate a festival or important event, for example, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, or Thanksgiving.
‘My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving.’
In Britain and Australia, a ‘holiday’ can also mean when you stop working and go for a nice break somewhere away from your city, similar to a vacation. We also call regular holidays ‘the holidays.’
‘I need to go on a holiday. I’ve been working too hard.’
‘I can’t wait for the summer holidays this year.’
For this holiday question, it’s easiest to talk about the first meaning: a public holiday. Just talk about one festival or regular holiday you like in your country.
What You Can Say
Think of a public holiday in your country. Then you can talk about:
- Why you like that holiday
- What date the holiday is held on
- What the holiday celebrates
- What you usually do on that day
- What people in your country usually do on that day
- Any traditional celebrations or activities
- What you used to do on that holiday when you were younger
- What you did this year or last year on that day
- Any special food people eat
- Why it’s important to your country
- Anything else that comes to mind…
Answer Quickly, Without Hesitation
The key to a good part-one answer is to focus on fluency. This means try to speak as quickly as you can, without hesitation.
Remember that part one is only to warm you up.
So think of any holiday and just start speaking right away. You can use simple English for this.
You don’t need to worry about using very advanced vocabulary in part one. You can focus on vocabulary in parts two and Part three.
Use the Three-Step YES Method
You should speak for 10 or 20 seconds in part one, not longer.
Practicing using the three-step YES Method, so you know when to stop talking. Just say:
- Your answer (say the holiday you like best)
- Explain your answer (say why you like it) or add a few more details
- Stop talking (wait patiently for the next question)
Here are 10 good answers to this question about holidays. Feel free to borrow ideas for your own answer…
1. My favorite holiday is Christmas Day because I love all the festive decorations and music and delicious food. Christmas is a lovely family holiday that has many fond childhood memories for me.
Tet Holiday (Vietnam)
2. My favorite holiday is Tet Holiday, which is the Vietnamese New Year Holiday. It’s held in February each year. I’ve always enjoyed spending time with my family during Tet.
3. I think my favorite holiday is Easter Sunday. When I was a child I always liked the Easter egg hunting games, and I also love chocolate. We eat loads of chocolate eggs every Easter.
4. I really enjoy Nowruz, which is a very important cultural holiday in Uzbekistan. It’s a holiday celebrating friendship and brotherhood between all people. And the special Nowruz dishes are delicious.
New Years Eve
5. For me, New Year’s Eve is the best holiday because it’s a time of new beginnings, and I always feel a sense of excitement and hope at the start of each new year.
National Day (China)
6. My favourite holiday is National Day, which celebrates the day when my country China was founded. I most like it because I have seven days off work to relax at home.
Assumption of Mary (Poland)
7. I’m from Poland and we have a special public holiday called the Assumption of Mary, which is held on August 15. I really like this holiday because it’s a very religious day and it also celebrates the historic Battle of Warsaw in 1920.
8. My country has many wonderful holidays but if I had to choose one, I think my favorite holiday would be Holi. It’s an amazing festival where people throw colored powder everywhere, and so Holi is also known as the Festival of Colors.
National Heroes Day (Philippines)
9. My favorite holiday is National Heroes Day because it fills me with pride to honor the heroes who fought for the freedom of the Philippines against Spain many years ago.
10. I’ve been living in the USA for nine years and my favorite holiday is definitely Thanksgiving. I love it because the special Thanksgiving food is fantastic, and everyone is so happy and friendly with each other on Thanksgiving.
Your Turn To Answer
Now it’s your turn to try.
When you practice any part-one question and answer, it’s best to record yourself.
That way you can listen to yourself and notice any mistakes you’re making.
So turn on the voice recorder on your phone, and ask aloud, “What is your favourite holiday?”