Singaporeans queue up to deposit auspicious amounts of money into their bank accounts, believing it will help them get rich in the Lunar New Year. Yiming Woo reports.
This isn't a queue for the latest smartphone -- many ethnic Chinese in Singapore are lining up to deposit cash into their bank accounts on the traditional first day of spring. Not only that, they have to put in cash amounts that contain their lucky numbers, and do so at an auspicious time. Clara lined up for more than 20 minutes, considered a long waiting time. She says her lucky number is 7 this year -- that's why she's putting in 700 Singapore dollars into her bank account. Like many others queuing, Clara is hoping for one thing: (SOUNDBITE) (English) SINGAPOREAN BANKER, CLARA, SAYING: "Prosperity... yes, it's just a tradition thing." It's unclear when this practice started. But charts instructing people on their lucky numbers and the best time to deposit money, have been circulating around the city state. While many Singaporeans believe it's rooted in fengshui, experts in the field, like consultant Helen Ong, say it's a myth. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FENGSHUI CONSULTANT, HELEN ONG, SAYING: "Now, I do not know who started this trend, it's very interesting, it seems like it's going viral in Singapore, in China, in some other parts of Asian countries, but there's really no valid support behind this action." Other than putting money back into the bank, many Singaporean Chinese like to celebrate Lunar New Year by spending it with family and eating lots of traditional goodies.