Describe A tradition in your Country: IELTS Cue Card

This IELTS speaking cue card describes one of the most important traditions in the UK: Christmas lunch. You can check out my band nine answer about traditions. Keep scrolling for a list of useful vocabulary from the answer.

IELTS Traditions band nine cue card

Describe a tradition in your country.
You should say:
What is it
Who usually takes part in it
What activities there are
And explain how you feel about it.

I’d like to tell you about having Christmas lunch because it is probably the most important tradition in the UK. Every year, people who celebrate Christmas have a special meal, although it is really more like a feast. Every family will have different customs, for example, my aunt cooks Goose every year. However, for my family, we always cook beef wellington and a nut roast. There are also some vegetables that are especially popular at Christmas like Brussels sprouts and parsnips

This meal is usually a family affair. However, it’s possible to have friends around too. People sometimes travel across the country to eat with their families. 

As a part of Christmas lunch, it’s common to light Christmas puddings. People also pull crackers and tell jokes to each other. While it is less common, king cake is a common tradition. You hide a coin in a cake before baking it and then whoever finds the coin is king for the day. 

This is one of my favourite traditions and times of the year. Modern lives are so busy that it can be rare to have free time to spend with your family. I also love the festive feeling I get preparing dinner while listening to carols on the radio. 

IELTS Christmas Festival vocabulary

All of this vocabulary appears as the same


A feast is a large, elaborate meal that is usually served for a special occasion. Feasts often include a variety of dishes and are meant to be enjoyed with friends and family. 


A custom is similar to a tradition, but this word is more likely to be used for something less significant than a tradition.

Beef wellington

A beef wellington as often served for Christmas dinner.

Beef Wellington is a dish made of beef tenderloin that is coated in pâté (a type of spread made of liver or other finely minced or pureed meats) and then wrapped in puff pastry and baked. Because it is hard to make, it is usually served as the main course for special occasions.

Nut roast

A nut roast is a dish made of nuts and vegetables that are blended together and roasted It is served as a main course, typically at holiday meals as a vegetarian alternative to meat.

Brussels sprouts

Brussel sprouts which are traditionally eaten for Christmas dinner

Brussels sprouts are a type of small, green vegetable that grows in a cluster on a long stalk. They have a slightly bitter taste and are often cooked by boiling, steaming, or roasting.


Parsnips are a type of white, carrot-like root vegetable that has a sweet, slightly nutty flavour. They are often roasted or mashed and served as a side dish.

A family affair

A family affair is something that is only shared with family. This can be used for events but also for things like gossip (e.g. “Don’t tell anyone. Let’s keep this a family affair”)

To have friends around

To have friends around means to invite friends to come over to your house to spend time together.

Christmas pudding

A flaming Christmas pudding. A traditional British Christmas desert.

Christmas pudding is a traditional dessert that is typically served during the Christmas holiday season in the United Kingdom and other countries. It is a rich, dense, and sweet cake-like dessert that is made with a mixture of dried fruit, nuts, and spices, and is often soaked in alcohol which can be set fire to when you serve it.

Christmas crackers

A picture of a Christmas cracker which we would traditionally have with Christmas dinner.

Christmas crackers are small brightly decorated cylindrical tubes. When you pull them open, they make a loud popping sound and often contain small toys, jokes and party hats. 

Festive feeling

Festive feeling refers to the feeling of cheer and joy that is often associated with special occasions, especially Christmas.

Christmas carols

Christmas carols are songs that are traditionally sung during the Christmas season. They are usually more religious than Christmas pop songs and for a group of singers without few or no instruments.

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