I am not sure why a person would build a pillar and choose to stand on it for 33 years but it seems this was a well worn spiritual practice in Byzantium. Pole sitters and Pillar cults have existed in many parts of the Middle East and demand an extraordinary level of endurance and asceticism in its practitioners, known as stylites.
Today is the feast day of Daniel the stylite who lived the last 33 years of his life to 593 atop a pillar outside Constantinople.
Today also marks the day, just 27 years later in 630 when Mohammed conquered Mecca.
It is also International Mountain Day, which I guess makes sense.
– Posted by Douglas Racionzer (serendipiday.blogspot.com)