Fast of the Virgin Mary
This fifteen-day fast covers the first two weeks of the month of Misra and ends with the feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.
Mention is made of this fast by the thirteenth-century writer al- Safi ibn al-‘Assal in his Kitab al-Qawanin (Book of Canon Law), where it is referred to as sawn ‘id al-Sayyidah (the fast preceding the feast of our Lady).
This fast is most widely observed among Copts of all ages, who keep it with particular abstention from eating fish and all food substances that include fat, oil, or its products. It is also customary for many people to practice full abstention, eating only one meal at the end of the day, following the celebration of the liturgy. Other people may also extend their fast by adding a week before and after the prescribed period.