TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan temple “lucky hats” worn by Norwegian athlete Gustav Iden are in such high demand that fake versions are being sold in markets.
This has prompted the 300-year-old Puyan Shunze Temple in Puyan Township (埔鹽鄉), Changhua County (彰化縣), to order an additional 9,000 authentic lucky hats to give out free, Central News Agency (CNA) reported on Wednesday (Sept. 11).
Iden won the Ironman 70.3 World Championship event and as he sprinted toward the finish line, sharp-eyed Taiwanese noticed the hat he wore bore the Chinese legend: “埔鹽順澤宮” (Puyan Shunze Temple).
According to the CNA report, Iden noticed the hat lying on the ground when he took part in an Ironman competition in Tokyo. He picked it up, and took good care of it in the hope it would bring him luck – which it did, as he won the event in Nice, France.
Thanks to Iden wearing the hat and winning, the temple and its lucky hat have gone viral. Many people have asked how they can get their hands on the lucky hat and temple stocks quickly ran out.
Nevertheless, the lucky hat is being sold on the internet, and Puyan Shunze Temple strongly suspects they are counterfeits, CNA reported. A temple representative said all hats issued by the temple bear the temple seal.
Puyan Shunze Temple Legal Affairs Division Director Hsu Wei-qiao (許維樵) said that many business people have called the temple and asked to become sales agents for the lucky hat. Hsu said all these requests were turned down because the temple had never intended to make a profit from the hats.
However, since people are so keen on having a lucky hat, Hsu said the temple has decided to give away 9,000 of them to visitors, with the temple seal affixed on the edge of the hat to differentiate them from the fake versions. Hsu said the temple could take legal action against those who sell counterfeit versions of the lucky hat.