Frequently there was a worship service at the cemetery on the afternoon of Ascension Day, which commemorates the bodily Ascension of Jesus into heaven. From time immemorial no one sewed anything on this day for it was said that “no pigeon gathers grass and twigs for its nest today" (keine Taube schleppt heute Nest), and not even a button is sewn on any item of clothing. Failure to heed this practice could result in a thunderstorm that would plague and pursue the miscreant on that day and throughout the summer so that the individual will constantly be in danger of being killed by lightning. It was thought that if a button (usually of brass) was sewn on anything, it would attract lightning like a magnet.
Seib, Eduard. "Der Wolgadeutsche im Spiegel seines Brauchtums."Heimatbuch Der Deutschen Aus Russland 1967/1968 (1968): Print.
Last updated June 22, 2017.