Mei Drucker Art Gallery & Gift Shoppe is located at 418 N Mt Shasta Blvd. For more information call (530) 925-4015 or email meidrucker@att.net.

This Saturday is the start of the Chinese New Year and the Year of the Rat, and to celebrate, Mei Drucker Art Gallery & Gift Shoppe in Mount Shasta will host an art exhibit and Chinese New Year Party on Friday, Jan. 24 from 4 to 7 p.m.

Homemade traditional Chinese delicacies and refreshments will be served.

The rat is the first animal of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac, Drucker explained in a press release.

According to Chinese mythology, the Jade Emperor said the order of the zodiac animals would be decided by the order in which they arrived to his party. The rat tricked the ox into giving him a ride to the party. Then just as they arrived at the finish line the rat jumped down and landed ahead of the ox, becoming the first animal of the Chinese zodiac.

The rat is associated with the earthy branch and midnight hours. He represents the beginning of a new day. In Chinese culture, rats are seen as a sign of wealth. They are clever, quick thinkers, successful, optimistic, energetic and sensitive. The metal rat is reliable, stable, positive, smart, outgoing and often able to turn unlucky events into fortune. This Year of the Metal Rat is predicted to be prosperous and lucky for almost all Chinese zodiac signs.

The Chinese New Year is a time of celebration. It is a time for families and friends to get together and celebrate by decorating their homes in bright colors and eating traditional food, Drucker said.

Mei Drucker Art Gallery & Gift Shoppe is located at 418 N Mt Shasta Blvd. For more information call (530) 925-4015 or email meidrucker@att.net.