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May 29, 2017

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Local bank hands out 'fortune water' as new-year wishes

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- A local bank recently started handing out limited bottles of "fortune water" per day in each branch to impress bank goers, catering to a folk belief that liquid served by the banks would bring good fortune.

There is an urban legend among the Taiwanese public that water or tea served in the banks — namely fortune water — can help improve one's luck in making money. This folk belief particularly leads to an increase in water bills for local banks before Lunar New Year, since they are seeing more customers than usual.

Translating the belief into a marketing scheme, SinoPac (永豐銀行) bank will give out a maximum of 88 bottles of water per day to customers the week before Lunar New Year vacation begins.

A bank staff member told the Central News Agency (CNA) that the bottled water is not ordinary, since they have been placed in the bank's coffers overnight. He said that the water is authentic "fortune water," while the water or tea served on the floor of the banks are not as powerful as the legend says.

The bank employee suggested that those lucky customers should put the bottled fortune water at the feng shui "corner of fortune" in their homes for as long as possible.

It is said that Taiwan's former Vice President Lien Chan, a billionaire, purposely sent bottled water to banks and instructed those banks to put the fortune waters into the coffers at a designated time.

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