This beautiful new coin features the...Coming soon
In conjunction with the 2016 Lunar monkey year, the Monetary Authority of Macau issues the Macau Monkey coin which is the ninth in the Macau Lunar coin collection (2008- 2019), exclusively minted and marketed by The Singapore Mint.
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Availability date: 12/23/2015
Legends and mythology are a big part of Chinese culture, especially in relation to the Chinese Zodiac. The 12 animals that appear on the Chinese Zodiac calendar include a rat, buffalo (Ox), tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. It’s an unusual combination of animals for sure, and their appearance on the Chinese Zodiac is the topic of countless legends and is deeply embedded in Chinese mythology.
An unlikely gathering
The most well-known of the Chinese zodiac legends states that Buddha invited the animals to participate in a race. The prize was a coveted position on the Chinese Zodiac calendar. The first 12 animals to cross the river would appear on the Chinese Zodiac calendar in the order in which they completed the race.
The first animal to make it across the finish line according to Chinese Zodiac legends and mythology was the rat. It seems unlikely that such a small animal could win such a strenuous race, especially when one considers all the contenders.
Chinese Zodiac legends and mythology explains that the rat used his brain rather than his brawn. It hitched a ride on what it perceived was the mightiest swimmer. Just before the buffalo reached the shore, the rat jumped off the buffalo’s back and crossed the finish line before the buffalo, putting the rat in first place.
The buffalo came in second and as promised in the legends and mythology, was the second animal listed on the Chinese Zodiac. The tiger, also being strong, came in third, followed by the rabbit that jumped his way across and was helped during the last stretch by the dragon. A snake hid in the hoof of the horse which is how it managed to make it across the river. At the last minute the snake jumped out and scared the horse into seventh place.
The sheep, monkey and rooster helped one another across and earned their spots on the calendar as well. The dog made it too, but decided a bath was more important than the position which is why it came in eleventh. Finally, the pig appeared and is listed last. According to Chinese Zodiac legends and mythology, the pig feasted and rested half-way through the race, but made it across guaranteeing its position.
A small gathering
The history of the Chinese Zodiac weaves another intriguing tale. This one tells of an invitation to a grand feast. All the animals were invited to join Buddha at either a birthday celebration, a New Year celebration, or a celebration for his departure from this world. Only 12 animals showed up at the festivities and that’s how they ended up being featured on the Chinese Zodiac calendar. Another of the legends of the Chinese Zodiac states that instead of Buddha, it was the Jade Emperor who invited the animals.
Regardless of the specific version of Chinese Zodiac history to which you subscribe, the Chinese Zodiac has amazed and entertained people around the world for thousands of years.
The year of one’s birth sign is believed to be the most unlucky in the 12-year cycle. Monkeys are particularly careful about their health, love lives, career, and investments in Monkey years.People born in a year of the Monkey are witty, intelligent, and have a magnetic personality. Personality traits, like mischievousness, curiosity, and cleverness, make them very naughty. Monkeys are masters of practical jokes, because they like playing most of the time. Though they don't have any bad intentions, their pranks sometimes hurt the feelings of others. Those born in a year of the Monkey are fast learners and crafty opportunists. They have many interests and need partners who are capable of stimulating them. While some like the eccentric nature of Monkeys, some don't trust their sly, restless, and inquisitive nature. Although they are clever and creative, monkeys can't always exhibit their talent properly. Monkeys like to take challenges and they prefer urban life to rural.
The obverse side of the coin features the outline of a witty monkey with a heavenly peach in its grasp, accompanied by a shower of peach blossoms in full bloom in the background. In Chinese folklore, heavenly peaches only ripen once every several thousand years and are consumed to bring longevity. Peaches are therefore symbols of immortality, often associated with the monkey in traditional Chinese culture. As a form of food symbolism, the peach represents wealth, abundance, longevity and everlasting good fortune in the brand new year. Having the symbol of the monkey with the peach emblazoned on a coin hints at the arrival of good luck, health and prosperity in your career and personal life.
The reverse side features the Holy House of Mercy in the Historic Centre of Macao, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Holy House of Mercy was built in 1569 as a Portuguese settlement by orders of the Bishop of Macau. Throughout its history, the Holy House of Mercy has been the source of medical and social assistance for the underprivileged in society. Today, a museum has been established in the building, which boasts a diverse collection commemorating the charitable works in Macao.