Last Thursday was the start of the 9-day Nine Emperor Gods Festival. (Check out Wikipedia for this interesting festival.) During this period, we would normally expect much rain but this time around, it's rather dry weather with just short drizzles. Fire-walking that you may have read about originates from this festival. Devotees or temple volunteers who are involved in helping out in temples have to abstain from meat, and carnal pleasures, alright sexual abstinence, a month prior to this festival. No cheating, the gods would know.
In the West, October/November time-frame is also a time of some celebration. There is Halloween and Thanksgiving. Just as we each celebrate our Chinese New Year, Hari Raya, Deepavali, or Christmas, Thanksgiving is a wonderful time where families travel miles to be together. This reminds me of Sleepless in Seattle. Sorry, I digress. The excitment of Thanksgiving is enhanced by the Black Friday sales. If you are in the US, here are some Black Friday ads to give you a headstart on the bargains. Happy shopping!