Li Chun 2021 (Feb 3) – When is the best date & time to deposit money?

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You might not know it by its name, but surely you’ve noticed snaking queues at cash deposit machines on a particular day around Chinese New Year. This date is called Li Chun (立春), and depositing cash has become quite a Singaporean tradition in the past few years.

According to some fengshui master or other, Li Chun is supposedly an auspicious day for you to deposit money in your bank account.

If you’re wondering when, where and why Li Chun 2021 is all about, here’s a dummies’ guide. (Read all the way to the bottom for advice on how you can actually make money with your money for Li Chun!)

Now wait just a minute, what in the blazes is Li Chun (立春)?

For the benefit of anyone who isn’t Chinese, is Chinese but studied in ACS, or is simply a potato, I’ll briefly explain Li Chun (Chinese: 立春) in this section.

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.

This year, Li Chun falls on Feb 3, 2021. That’s 8 days before Chinese New Year on Feb 12, 2021. 

Okay, so now you’re wondering what this date has to do with depositing money at the ATM, right?

I don’t have any answer for you, other than that fengshui works in mysterious ways.

I mean, I can get why Li Chun is celebrated in China, since agriculture was a significant part of the country’s history. But in Singapore, there are no seasons and our agriculture is limited to preschoolers planting bean sprouts in cotton wool.

Guess you could say we celebrate Li Chun by “planting” money in our bank accounts.

By the way, this whole queueing up at the ATM to deposit money is a totally new thing. It’s only been around for a few years. Don’t believe me, go ask your parents if they ever did such a thing when they were younger.

When should you deposit money? Li Chun 2021 date & time slots 

It’s not good enough to simply deposit cash at the ATM at any random time on Feb 3, 2021. You need to time your cash deposit endeavour in order to maximise your chances of “good fortune”.

For that reason, every publication in Singapore, whether it’s Lianhe Zaobao or International Fengshui Herald, will publish a cute chart showing you when, exactly, on 3 Feb you should deposit cash, based on your Chinese zodiac sign. Apparently, this year Li Chun starts at 10.58pm on 3 Feb and ends at 10.58pm the next day. 

Unfortunately, there’s no consensus on the best timing (probably because the entire thing is totally fabricated?). 

Here’s a Li Chun chart grabbed off the totally legit Fengshui Beginner.

Sleep early on Feb 3 so you can rise and shine early on 4 Feb to make your lucky deposit at the nearest ATM.

(Legend: $$ = most auspicious time to deposit cash. $ = good time. X = inauspicious time, avoid.)

Best banking hours on Feb 4, 2021   
  7am to 8.59am 9am to 10.59am 11am to 12.59pm 1pm to 2.59pm 3pm to 4.59pm 5pm to 6.59pm 70m to 8.59pm 9pm to 10.58pm
Rat 鼠 $$ $ X X $ $ $ $$
Ox 牛 $ $ X X $ $$ X $
Tiger 虎 $ X $$ $ X $ $$ $
Rabbit 兔 $$ $ $ $ $$ X $ $
Dragon 龙 X $$ $ $ $$ $ X $
Snake 蛇 $$ $ $ $$ X $ $ X
Horse 马 $ $$ X $$ $ $ $ X
Sheep 羊 $ $ $ $ $ $$ X $
Monkey 猴 $ X $ $ $ $ $$ X
Rooster 鸡 $ $$ $$ $ $$ X X $
Dog 狗 X $ $$ X $ $ $$ $
Pig 猪 $ X $ $$ X $ $$ X

Here’s another chart for Li Chun 2021, this time from Way Fengshui. Notice that the best and worst times for almost everyone is the same.

Li Chun Day 1 — 3 Feb 2021 (10.08pm onwards)  Li Chun Day 2 — 4 Feb 2021 (before 9pm)   
  9pm to 11pm 11pm to 1am 1am to 3am 3am to 5am 5am to 7am 7am to 9am 9am to 11am 11am to 1pm 1pm to 3pm 3pm to 5pm 5pm to 7pm 7pm to 9pm
Rat 鼠 X $ $ X
Ox 牛 $ X $ X
Tiger 虎 $ X $$ $ X $
Rabbit 兔 $ X $$ $ X $
Dragon 龙 $ X $$ $ X
Snake 蛇 X $ $ X
Horse 马 X $ $$ $ X $
Sheep 羊 $ X $ $$ $ X
Monkey 猴  $ X $ $$ X
Rooster 鸡  X $ $ X
Dog 狗 X $ $ $$ $ X
Pig 猪 X $ $ $$ $ X

There seems to be no single best cash deposit time, unless there’s a particular fengshui master you believe in.

Other than deposit money, what else can you do for Li Chun 2021?

If you don’t want to waste time queueing at the ATM with the entire population of Sengkang and Buangkok combined on the auspicious Li Chun days, you can still take part in the symbolic “seed sowing” ritual by putting your money into an investment rather than a savings account.

Some suggestions:

Note that interest rates may change every now and then, 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.

This article was first published in MoneySmart.