Photo: 123rf

Unless you don’t leave the house during the CNY period, you’ll definitely have noticed the snaking queues at various cash deposit machines and banks on a particular day called Li Chun (立春).

What exactly is Li Chun and why should I care?

Li Chun is a date on the Chinese calendar that signifies the beginning of spring. This date often falls around Chinese New Year, although the date of CNY can actually be before or after Li Chun.

It was traditionally an important day for farmers in Ancient China, who would pray for a good harvest for the year ahead.

While queueing up at the ATM to deposit money on Li Chun day is a relatively new phenomenon in Singapore, it’s become a tradition for many people here.

According to the superstition, people who bank in their money at the appropriate timings according to their Chinese zodiac on Li Chun will enjoy a prosperous start to the year. Guess you could say we celebrate Li Chun by “planting” money in our bank accounts.

When is Li Chun this year?

This year, Li Chun falls on 4 Feb 2020. That’s 10 days after Chinese New Year on 25 Jan 2020. It starts at 5.18pm on 4 Feb and ends at 4.59pm the next day, on 5 Feb.

When should you deposit money?

singapore ATM

Photo: 123rf

It’s not good enough to simply deposit cash at the ATM at any random time on 4 Feb 2020. You need to time your cash deposit endeavour in order to maximise your chances of “good fortune”.

Find out when you should go to the bank to increase your luck cycle in the Year of the Rat, according to Way Fengshui:

In general, the most auspicious period to deposit money is between 9am and 11am on 5 Feb (except for Rat, Dragon, Snake and Monkey). The least auspicious timings also fall on 5 Feb, between 11am and 5pm.

Other than deposit money, what else can you do for Li Chun 2020?

If you don’t want to burn your CNY eve queueing at the ATM with the entire population of Sengkang and Buangkok combined, you can still take part in the symbolic “seed sowing” ritual by putting your money into a foolproof investment rather a savings account.

Some suggestions:
– Open a fixed deposit account
– Put some money in a Singapore Savings Bond
– Start a regular savings plan

Note that fixed deposits and Singapore Savings Bonds interest rates change every month, so you do need to check what the rates are in February for Li Chun.

In any case, since even fengshui masters aren’t convinced that Li Chun really works, these investments or a high-interest savings account might give you better odds of, you know, actually making money.

A version of this post first appeared on Moneysmart