And today how many days is lent for Catholics? 40. I am sure Muslim's and Jew's also have some 40 day observances too. In fact I was just reading that Buddha and Mahomet fasted for 40 days too just prior to starting their ministries. And that in Ancient Egypt is was said that it takes 40 days for the spirit to actually leave the body.
Other interesting things about 40
In numerology 40 basically means completeness.
And how long is a full term pregnancy? 40 weeks.
I read that in Japan on your 40th birthday you are at the beginning of "the old age" - "shoro."
And lastly what is the traditional number of lashings for punishment? ... yup.
Like I said 40 is a big number. More than half a lifetime for most people. Makes me kind of pleased to be reaching it.