Describe an important holiday (or festival) that is celebrated in your country
You should say:
- When this celebration takes place
- What people do during this celebration
- What you especially like and dislike about this celebration
- And explain why it is important.
Today, I am going to talk about an important holiday (or festival) that is celebrated in my country called Lunar New Year. Besides the Western calendar’s New Year , the Vietnamese people also celebrate Lunar New Year according to the lunar calendar.
The Lunar New Year, or Tet usually takes place around the end of January or the beginning of February, depending on when the lunar calendar ends. Tet provides the opportunity for reunions for Vietnamese families, as people tend to return to their hometowns at this time of the year.
Like the Christmas tree in Western countries, in Vietnam, we buy a kumquat tree, an apricot blossom tree or some branches to decorate our houses. People also buy new clothes and clean their houses to welcome in the New Year. Some families make “Chung cake”, a traditional cake for this special occasion. Chung cake is made of rice, mung beans and fat pork, wrapped in a banana leaf in the shape of a square. It is then boiled overnight until it is cooked.
During the Tet holiday, Vietnamese visit their relatives to wish them all a happy new year. They also go to the pagodas frequently to wish for a better year to come for their families. Adults give lucky money to children. I think this is the only time of year when people can forget about all the worries of their daily lives, when they can relax, enjoy, indulge themselves, and get ready for another new year.
- Western calendar: also known as the Gregorian calendar, this calendar is used in Western countries and the New Year begins with the first day of January.
Example: International companies usually follow the Western calendar, though their country may also follow a different calendar.
- according to: as stated or indicated by; following; based on.
Example: According to the Center for Disease Control, all travelers should be up-to-date with their vaccines.
- takes place around: to occur during a certain time period, around is used in this instance to give you a general idea of when something happens, rather than a very specific date.
Example: The festival takes place around the beginning of May each year, though we won’t know the exact start date until March 15th.
- depending on: to be contingent on, something will not happen unless something else happens first.
Example: Depending on the score you get on your exam, you may qualify for a scholarship.
- reunion: a time when people gather together again after not having seen each other for a while; you can have family reunions, class reunions, work reunions, etc.
Example: The graduating class of 1985 had a class reunion this past summer and it was fantastic to see all my old classmates again.
- tend to: used to describe when you usually do something.
Example: I tend to visit my mom on Sundays.
- hometown: your hometown is the town where you spent most or all of your childhood; it is often the town where your parents still live.
Example: This will be the first time she has returned to her hometown after living abroad for five years.
- kumquat: a small fruit-bearing tree with small, round, orange fruit that is commonly used in preservers and confections.
Example: My father brought home a kumquat tree for Tet.
- decorate: to put things up around the home to make it look nice, to include things like flowers, artwork, lights, candles, and other types of decorations.
Example: My sister loves to decorate her room with posters of the One Direction boys.
- to welcome in the New Year: used to express the idea that you are excited for a new year to begin, so you welcome it in or invite it in. In is used to express that it is as if you were welcoming a friend into your home or into your life.
Example: People in New York City are welcoming in the New Year with the dropping of the ball at Times Square.
- special occasion: a special event or happening.
Example: A wedding is a special occasion that many people enjoy celebrating.
- boil: the point when there are bubbles in the water that you are heating; water boils when it reaches 100 degrees Celsius.
Example: “A watched pot never boils.” – This is a saying that means that something we wait for with impatient attention seems to take forever.
- overnight: Lasting for, extending over, or remaining during a night, until the morning time.
Example: She left the cat out overnight and luckily it didn’t get eaten by coyotes.
- to wish them: to want or desire something for someone else.
Example: I wish them luck on their exams.
- pagoda: a religious building of East Asia and Southeast Asia, especially a multistory Buddhist tower with widely overhanging eaves separating each level, erected as a memorial or shrine.
Example: Her father goes to the pagoda early in the morning.
- relax: to take it easy; to release tension and anxiety; to loosen up; to become less tense.
Example: She likes to take a bath to relax after a hard day at work.
- indulge: to allow yourself to do what you want, eat what you want, etc.
Example: They indulged themselves by sleeping late, eating whatever they wanted and dancing until late at night.