Please consider the following question prompt:

Many people think that public celebrations (like national holidays, festivals, etc.) are a waste of money and that the government should spend these funds in a better way. Do you agree or disagree?

Is this question asking about the costs of running ceremonies (for exampling new year fireworks) or ask about the fact that people do not work on holidays and yet get paid?

update: Personally I think the former case should be the case. As the national holidays is mentioned as an example of public celebrations. However I read a sample answer here: http://ieltsielts.com/band-9-writing-under-an-x-ray/ that follows the later case. :|

here is my response:

In many countries governments organise a number of public celebrations each year. Running these kinds of festivals generally need huge financial cost. Some people believe that this money could be spent in better ways. While these ceremonies result in some benefits for communities, in my opinion their costs are not in proportion with their benefits and there are many other better ways that we could use their associated budgets.

Firstly, the number of people who can take part in a public celebration are very limited when compared with the population of the whole country or even the cities where the programs take place while the budget of public festivals are provided by resources which belongs to all people in the city or country. It's unfair to allot these resources to a small group of people. For instance last year, in a festival in Sydney more than one million dollar was spent in the a program whose audience were less than 900 people. Clearly, this cost was imposed to whole country but only a small number of people benefit from it.

Secondly, public celebrations have some serious negative side effects that destroy their intended goals. As an example, there is a ceremony on the national day of China and thousand of people gather in a street to watch a parade of acrobats. Every year a number of people lose their lives because of stampede of the population. Additionally, this festival cause horrible traffic jams on the streets that are close to the venue. These sort of side effects are not negligible and cause the ceremonies fireback; instead of happyness thery create trouble for people.

In conclusion, while public celebrations can amuse a group of people, considering their costs and their side effects, in my opinion, governments need to revise the way they spent these funds and use them in more judicious ways, such as improving the quality of roads or health cares.

closed as too broad by P. E. Dant, James K, Varun Nair, StoneyB, Catija Aug 7 '17 at 5:18

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.


I think that you're right to brainstorm for various senses of the question. To me the question seems fairly broad, and you might be able to find an interesting angle.

However the fact that workers are paid for days off seems like a difficult example. The question specifically asks whether "the government should spend these funds in a different way." If the government discontinued some holiday observances and required workers to work on those days, it wouldn't have excess money to spend in another way; it would spend that money exactly the way it does now, paying its employees.

So the question seems to contemplate ways that the government could avoid costs now created by holiday observances in order to spend money on something else.


Is this question asking about the costs of running ceremonies (for exampling new year fireworks) or ask about the fact that people do not work on holidays and yet get paid?

The answer is neither. The question is simply asking whether you agree or disagree that public celebrations are a waste of money.

Costs of running ceremonies and workers getting paid time off are both factors to consider in evaluating that question. The sample answer you link to acknowledges the paid time off argument and then argues against it by mentioning that loss of productivity is not so easily measured. It does not mention the costs of the ceremonies themselves, which would be a separate topic.

There may well be additional factors to consider when evaluating whether public celebrations are a waste of money or not. It's up to you to identify those factors, pick one or more of them to address, and then ultimately make an argument one way or another as to the worth of public celebrations. That is what the question is asking you to do.


We would have to see more context to know just what the question is asking.

It seems unlikely to me that the asker is referring to the money paid to government employees when they are not working because it's a holiday. Is the asker supposing that government employees should get no time off work, that they should be required to work 365 days per year? That just seems unlikely. Would they get no sick time, no vacation, nothing?

So probably he means government spending on the celebration itself. I don't know what government he's talking about. Here in the US I don't think our government spends very much on holiday celebrations. I'm not sure just what the government actually pays for. But I suppose even if it's a tiny percentage of the budget one could ask if it might not be better spent elsewhere. As the man said, a billion here, a billion there, and before you know it you're talking real money.

  • Thanks Jay, can you read my updated question as well. I totally agree with you and considering the question the key word is public celebrations and considering holiday in answer certainly does not answer the question. I wonder how the two provided links answer the other side! – PHPst Aug 1 '17 at 22:24

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