IELTS Speaking Part 1 Public Holidays: Study the sample answers below about public holidays. Understand how each question is answered by the speaker and learn the topic vocabulary and collocations that are used in each answer. By getting ideas on this post, you will surely be able to talk about public holidays in your actual exam confidently and spontaneously, as result, you will achieve your target band score or even get a band 9.0. 







ielts speaking part 1 public holidays

One of the best public holidays in the world, New Year! ©Weston MacKinnon



How many public holidays do you have in your country?


(Answer 1)

Well, I can’t be accurate as I’ve never paid much attention to the number of public holidays here. I suppose there are more than ten in a year. Anyway, I love public holidays because whenever I work on those special days, I can earn double.

(Answer 2)

As I’m a teacher of sociology, I can’t be wrong on this, to be exact 15 all in all. And the most important national holiday in my country is independence day. We give so much importance to that holiday as it reminds us of how our ancestors fought for their rights to attain freedom and we can’t thank them enough as we are now enjoying our liberty.



Accurate [adj.] – correct; precise; exact

Pay attention [phrase] – to listen, watch, or consider very carefully

I suppose [expression] – another way to say ‘I think’

All in all [phrase] – on the whole

Attain [verb] – achieve

(I) Can’t thank you enough [expression] – is said when one is very grateful for one’s words or actions

Liberty [noun] – freedom; independence



i.) ANSWER 1: The speaker delivered a very honest answer by stating that he couldn’t be correct in his answer as he didn’t count the number of holidays. And in order for him to add more to his answer so as not to make his answer short, he talked about the benefit of working on public holidays. Such a smart way to make his answer longer. 


ii.) ANSWER 2: The speaker made it easy for him to answer the question because he related the question to his profession. He was so sure of the number of holidays and for him to express himself a bit more, he did talk about the most significant holiday in his country. This way, he’s able to showcase his English communication skills to the examiner. Great answer!

How do you usually spend your holidays?


Well, it depends, if I have consecutive holidays I usually travel abroad and enjoy sightseeing. I always have this travel bug in me that I can never ignore. I know that traveling costs an arm and a leg but I find pleasure in it. However, if the holiday is just a day or two, I normally stay at home and rest. 



Consecutive [adj.] – successive

Travel bug [expression] – a strong desire to travel

Cost an arm and a leg [expression] – very expensive

Find pleasure [phrase] – to enjoy




i.) The speaker simply gave a situational answer saying ‘it depends’. This is more realistic and something that we all do. This way of answering makes you extend your answer a bit more, thus, showing the examiner your language skills. 



Do you think people need more public holidays?


(Answer 1)


Yes, I do think so! As more and more companies have become so demanding to their workers these days, it is just right for workers to be given more holidays in order for them to recharge their batteries. I do believe that government should provide a little bit more public holidays to citizens so that they’ll be able to spend a good amount of time resting or enjoying their personal time with their family.

(Answer 2)


Well to be honest with you, I can only talk about the people in my country since I don’t have any idea about the other people in other countries and the situation they’re in. Speaking of my countrymen, I don’t think they need to be given more holidays because our country has already a lot of national holidays, the current number of public holidays in this country is already enough. If we add more, businesses will be affected and it will have a negative impact on the economy.




Demanding [adj.] – difficult

Recharge (one’s) batteries [expression] – to rest and relax in order to regain energy

Take into consideration [phrase] – to consider; give a thought

Current [adj.] – present


i.) FIRST ANSWER: The speaker gave a straightforward positive answer and then explained why people need to be given more holidays. He did explain thoroughly plus he used collocations and advanced words. Make sure to use collocations or some advanced vocabulary words when you can. 


ii.) SECOND ANSWER: The speaker was also being honest with his answer, instead of giving a very general answer, he just explained to the examiner that he could only answer based on what he knew about his country. This kind of answer is really good as the examinee expresses himself naturally. 



What’s your favorite holiday?


(Answer 1)

Without a doubt, it’s Christmas! For me it’s always the best time of the year, I like the ambiance and I love to see the smiling faces of people during this holiday. I feel the love that people show wherever I go and that really inspires me. I wish every day is Christmas!


(Answer 2)

Obviously, it’s New Year! I just love it – having to start with a clean slate and being excited about what lies ahead. Surely, I enjoy spending time with my loved ones during that holiday and I’m more than eager to make New Year’s resolutions. That’s just an amazing holiday!




Without a doubt [phrase] – indisputably

Ambiance [noun] – atmosphere

A clean slate [idiom] – an opportunity to start fresh despite past problems or mistakes

Lie ahead [phrasal verb] – be going to happen



i.) The speaker simply explained his most loved holiday and then described his feelings towards the holiday that he enjoyed very much. Brief answer and naturally developed.

ii.) The speaker gave a straightforward answer and expressed his feelings towards the New Year holiday. He made sure to use some topic vocabulary words and collocations so he could express his answer better. 


OTHER IMPORTANT HOLIDAYS (may vary in countries)

Independence Day

New Year

Eid’l Adha

Eid’l Fitr 

Thanksgiving Day

Chinese New Year

Lenten Season

Meaning of Words and Phrases Sources: Collins, Macmillan, Cambridge, Oxford

Do you have any questions or comments? Please leave them below. 



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Learn how to answer the questions about VISITING RELATIVES in IELTS SPEAKING PART 1 on this link



Talking about public holidays is never difficult. Just make sure to have some basic knowledge about your country’s holidays. Prepare this topic strategically, use those ideas you have learned or you can prepare your own ideas and spend time practicing.  Develop your confidence so you can express your thoughts clearly and spontaneously. Ace your exam!



Meaning of Words and Phrases Sources: Collins, Macmillan, Cambridge, Oxford

Do you have any questions or comments? Please leave them below. 



If you want to support my work, you can buy me A CUP OF COFFEE here:

Thank you so much!