Mei Drucker Art Gallery and Gift Shoppe is opening its doors Friday evening, Feb. 8, for a celebration of the Year of the Earth Pig from 4 to 8 p.m.

Drucker is commemorating the Chinese New Year with a new Year of the Earth Pig painting which she has named Happy Pig. She will be creating traditional Chinese delicacies for visitors to enjoy and refreshments will be served.

The following background about the Year of the Earth Pig and the pig in Chinese culture was included in a press release from Mei Drucker Art Gallery and Gift Shoppe, which is located at 418 N. Mt. Shasta Blvd. in downtown Mt. Shasta:

“According to the Chinese calendar this week we have entered the Year of the Earth Pig. The Pig is the 12th of all zodiac animals. According to a Chinese myth the jade emperor threw a party inviting all the animals. The emperor said the order of the Chinese Zodiac would be decided by the order of the arrival of each animal. The pig turned up late because he overslept. Another story claims the wolf destroyed the pig’s house. The pig had to rebuild his house before he could set off and was the last to arrive.”

As the 12th animal of the Chinese Zodiac, the Year of the Earth Pig is the end of a complete cycle of the 12 zodiac animals. “This is a time to reflect on the previous years and prepare ourselves to enter into the new cycle that begins next year in 2020 with the Year of the Metal Rat.

“In Chinese culture the pig is a symbol of wealth. Their chubby faces and big ears are signs of fortune. The dominant presence of the Earth element has the effect of stabilizing and fixing the often joyous and ephemeral year long energies which are specific to the Year of the Pig. The Earth Pig brings us tolerance, understanding, good fortune, benevolence, success and good friends.”

Mei can be reached by phone at 530-925-4015.