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Happy New Year! For those that celebrate the Chinese New Year, welcome to the Year of the Earth Dog. The Dog is one of twelve animal signs in Chinese Astrology, along with five elements (metal, wood, water, fire and earth). These astrological signs can help you determine your personality type as well as what we may expect from the year to come. Chinese New Year is also a festive tradition celebrated all over the world including right here in the Willamette Valley.

The Earth Dog is broad-minded, faithful, considerate, well-disciplined and they stick to their principles. If you know someone born in 1957 (the last year of the Earth Dog), you’ll probably find that they are loyal and determined and, if you have a child born during the New Year (February 16, 2018 to February 4, 2019), they might have some of these same attributes. According to Chinese astrology, the forecast for the coming year indicates that it will be a very eventful year, marked by security concerns. It’s an important year to highlight the importance of dialogue, collaboration and respect, which are characteristic values of the Chinese zodiac sign of the Dog. This will also be a great year to make lifestyle changes (like quitting smoking or changing residences) as well as for the start of new business ventures.

Beware of experiencing short periods of loneliness or melancholy during the Year of the Dog, however. Surround yourself with positive people and find ways to give back to your community to remind yourself how valuable you are.

Western Oregon has several options available for those who want to ring in the Chinese New Year. It’s a great way to teach your children about Chinese traditions while celebrating with family, friends and neighbors.

The 2018 Asian Celebration is being held Saturday, February 11th and Sunday, February 12th at the Lane Events Center. Tickets at the door are $6 for one day or $10 for both days and FREE to those aged 12 and under as well as those with a valid student ID card.

This year, the focus at the Asian Celebration is on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and the importance that education has to our community, including local schools. You can also check out the Asian Heritage and Justice Exhibit at the Event Center featuring photographs by Eugene artist Melissa Nolledo.

The Eugene Public Library is hosting a Chinese New Year Celebration on Sunday, February 7th starting at 2:30pm. Enjoy dance, music and calligraphy with the Chinese American Benevolent Association.

The Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland is kicking off the New Year on February 16th with lion dances and other performances, martial arts and crafting for the whole family. Their two-week celebration concludes with a Lantern Viewing procession, featuring a golden dragon.

If you’re feeling festive this New Year, join other Oregonians in welcoming the Year of the Earth Dog. Let’s hope it’s a great year – may it bring you much success and happiness!