It is claimed that in the Middle Ages, churches that were too poor to display the relics of martyred saints at Allhallowtide let parishioners dress up as saints instead.[92][93] Some Christians continue to observe this custom at Halloween today.[94] Lesley Bannatyne believes this could have been a Christianization of an earlier pagan custom.[95] While souling, Christians would carry with them "lanterns made of hollowed-out turnips".[96] It has been suggested that the carved jack-o'-lantern, a popular symbol of Halloween, originally represented the souls of the dead.[97] On Halloween, in medieval Europe, fires served a dual purpose, being lit to guide returning souls to the homes of their families, as well as to deflect demons from haunting sincere Christian folk.[98][99] Households in Austria, England and Ireland often had "candles burning in every room to guide the souls back to visit their earthly homes". These were known as "soul lights".[100][101][102] Many Christians in mainland Europe, especially in France, believed "that once a year, on Hallowe'en, the dead of the churchyards rose for one wild, hideous carnival" known as the danse macabre, which has often been depicted in church decoration.[103] Christopher Allmand and Rosamond McKitterick write in The New Cambridge Medieval History that "Christians were moved by the sight of the Infant Jesus playing on his mother's knee; their hearts were touched by the Pietà; and patron saints reassured them by their presence. But, all the while, the danse macabre urged them not to forget the end of all earthly things."[104] This danse macabre was enacted at village pageants and at court masques, with people "dressing up as corpses from various strata of society", and may have been the origin of modern-day Halloween costume parties.[96][105][93][106]
While the previous game featured a straightforward, traditional turn-based combat system akin to most fantasy role-playing games, this game has a new grid-based combat system that remains turn-based but is much more refined. The player can now move their characters every turn, as well as build larger parties of allies that can be in play at once, against larger groups of opponents. This system encourages strategy from player and opponent alike, as attacks now knock back, or even forward, characters, which can make them more or less susceptible to certain attacks. Movement on the grid opens up some attacks and closes others.
The practice may have originated in a Celtic festival, held on 31 October–1 November, to mark the beginning of winter. It was called Samhain in Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man, and Calan Gaeaf in Wales, Cornwall and Brittany. The festival is believed to have pre-Christian roots. After the Christianization of Ireland in the 5th century, some of these customs may have been retained in the Christian observance of All Hallows' Eve in that region—which continued to be called Samhain/Calan Gaeaf—blending the traditions of their ancestors with Christian ones.[2][3] It was seen as a liminal time, when the spirits or fairies (the Aos Sí), and the souls of the dead, could more easily come into our world.[4] It was believed that the Aos Sí needed to be propitiated to ensure that the people and their livestock survived the winter.
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