SINGAPORE - Hoping for better fortune in the new year, people queued at banks and cash deposit machines around Singapore on Friday (Feb 3).
Depositing money on Li Chun, also known as Farmers' Day, is believed to grow one's wealth and ensure good luck.
Li Chun usually falls between Feb 3 and 18 and marks the start of spring in the Chinese calendar.
When The Straits Times visited the Tampines Central POSB branch at 8am on Friday, queues of around 10 people had formed at each of the two cash deposit machines.
Another 20 people were waiting for the bank to open at 8.30am.
While people were on the fence about whether the practice produced concrete results, they still felt it was worth a try.
"I've been doing this for the past five years. It's just a belief - whether it works out or not we will never know," said Mr K.M. Tan, 52, who works in the airline industry.
For Mr Tan, who said his fortune has been average, this is the first year that he had heard of a chart making the rounds online with specific auspicious timings to deposit money.
Charts circulating online have also classified "auspicious" and "very auspicious" timings, according to zodiac signs and their lucky colour.
"Maybe I didn't go at the right times previously," said Mr Tan.
Student Bryan Goh, 24, has been depositing money into his account with his family since his secondary school days.
"I think it's a gesture at the start of the year to symbolise money coming into our accounts smoothly for this year," he said.
They used to come in the wee hours of the morning to avoid the queue, but could not do so this year as his sister has a young child.
At the OCBC branch at Tampines Central, about 15 people were queueing at the three cash deposit machines at 9am.
Ms San Lee, 42, turned up in green and blue, as friends told her that these colours were auspicious for her.
"I decided to wear both colours and deposit some money before 11am. I hope it brings me good fortune in the coming year," said the quantity surveyor.
Also in Tampines, the UOB branch opened one hour earlier at 8.30am, as branch managers were allowed to open earlier at their discretion.
However, queues were shorter this year, according to the outlet’s branch manager Wendy Low.
This was due to the bank opening earlier, with more customer service managers on duty.
“People are also coming to the bank at different timings perhaps because in previous years, more zodiac signs had the same auspicious hours,” she added.
Housewife Toh Ah Kau, 57, said there were fewer than 10 customers waiting to be served.
"I didn't want to come because I thought it would be crowded, but my daughter said to come this morning," she said.