The Chinese Zodiac is an astrological system that rotates through a twelve year lunar cycle. Each of these years is associated with an animal arranged in order from the rat through to the pig. An ancient folk story states that the order was established by a race between the animals that was orchestrated by the Jade Emperor of China. It is believed that each of these animals is has a set of characteristics that may serve as an astrological guide to understand the events that occur in the year as well as the personalities of those born in the year.
The Royal Australian Mint regularly produces coins celebrating the beginning of a new Chinese Lunar Year. Two primary series are usually issued; the Lunar Series, which often includes a business strike and a silver proof variant, and the Lunar Prestige Series, which includes higher denomination proof-like pieces struck from precious metals.