Egypt's Coptic Church observes a Lenten Fast before Easter of eight weeks or 55 days, two weeks longer than the Lenten fasts in the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches (six weeks; 40 days). A normal 40 day fast is preceded by a week of preparation and followed by Holy Week, creating the longer fast. The Coptic Great Fast for this year began today. (The longer Lent is also observed by the Ethiopian and Eritrean Churches, both originally daughter churches of Alexandria,)
For Coptic readers, may I wish you a rewarding Great Fast.