In the calendar of Christianity, this is Holy Week, the period of seven days that precedes Easter Sunday.
Coming up we have Holy Wednesday, also known as Spy Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday, respectively the days when Jesus was betrayed by Judas Iscariot, hosted the disciples at the Last Supper, was arrested and crucified to death, and then lay in the tomb before the Sunday Resurrection.
The scholars who will say how Christmas overtook the Pagan midwinter feasts will also admit that Christmas has now been overtaken by feasts of a different kind.
Easter is different again. Easter goes to the heart of what it is to be Christian. It is the story of the suffering and death of Jesus, betrayed by one of his inner circle and publicly executed by the Romans, and of his subsequent Resurrection on the third day.
Easter is the essence of Christianity.
It is possible, though, to be non-Christian — to belong to a different faith, or to be avowedly atheist in your views — and still take something from Holy Week.
Irrespective of your belief system, anything that can spark peaceful, meditative reflection — reflection on the self and reflection on the world around us; reflection on the past and reflection on the type of future we would like to play a part in creating — can only be a good thing.