Gong Hei Fat Choi / Gong Xi Fa Chai

The Chinese New Year of the Sheep (or Goat, if you prefer) is still over 2 weeks away, and already the local stores are bursting with food and signage for the new year celebrations.

year-of-the-sheep

Image from ranchlineallnatural.com

I was shopping at the local Chinese grocery store – my new favourite place for the best in fresh produce – when my attention was captured by a huge display for KitKat chocolate bars.  Not any KitKat bars, but a limited edition orange flavoured bar dressed up for the Chinese New Year.

It wasn’t initially the bar itself that made me do a double-take, but the display.  As a Canadian, I’m used to seeing english-french bilingual signs and packaging.  Living in the Agincourt area of Toronto, I’m also accustomed to seeing english-chinese signage.  What was totally new to me however, was the french-chinese signage.

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I must admit, I burst out laughing.  The juxtapositioning of language and location appealed to my sense of humour.

I normally garner a lot of curious stares when I venture into the Chinese grocery store.  I feel my visible minority status very keenly … but this day, I attracted more puzzled gazes than usual.

In the end, I couldn’t resist the purchase.  I’m not a fan of KitKat bars … but Gilles is, and he can afford the calories.  His verdict?  Two thumbs up.

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In case you are wondering, according to Mr Google, Gong Xi Fa Chai is Mandarin and Gong Hei Fat Choi is Cantonese.  If you’re Chinese and I got this wrong, I’d love to hear from you.

Happy Chinese New Year.

About Joanne Sisco

Retired but not idle. Life is an adventure - I plan to continue to embrace it.
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68 Responses to Gong Hei Fat Choi / Gong Xi Fa Chai

  1. stvrsnbrgr says:

    Orange + chocolate = heaven. Happy New Year Joanne!

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  2. bikerchick57 says:

    Orange KitKats? I might have to go in search of them…for mom, of course!

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  3. I like to learn something new every day. Today I learn that Toronto has a neighbourhood called Agincourt – presumably not the site of a famous Anglo/French battle?

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  4. Carter Vail says:

    I think I need to make a trip to the Asian market down the street 🙂

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  5. jannatwrites says:

    How interesting. I’ve never seen an orange Kit Kat bar, but then again, I don’t think there is a large Chinese population near us. I like the multi-language signage and had to smile imaging people staring at you as they witnessed your amusement 🙂

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  6. I’ve never been able to eat a Kit Kat since Greenpeace’s campaign against Nestle’s use of palm oil. And an orange Kit Kat would only make it worse. Ewww. (I can send you the link to the ad if you’re brave enough… If I haven’t already. I know I freaked someone out one day by sharing. :D)

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    • joannesisco says:

      You knew I wouldn’t be able to resist so I just had to look it up. Where have I been that I didn’t hear about this before now?!!!
      …. and Nestle is the same company with the CEO who said water wasn’t a human right!!!

      Glad I don’t have KitKat issues. Many other issues, but KitKat is not on the list.

      Please don’t tell me there’s something bad about Cadbury that I should know about. I have serious Cadbury issues …..

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Happy Chinese New Year!! I’m with Giles on this one-KitKats are fabulous! 😀 xx

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  8. Mrs. P says:

    I’m not a fan of Kit Kats either but I would like a piece of that chocolate orange if NancyTex wikk share. 😀

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  9. I love Kitts! …so no chance of me ever boycotting Nestlé 😉

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  10. M-R says:

    And the wrapping has a sheep/goat on it !!!! – crikey, what fun, JS ! 🙂

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  11. bulldog says:

    With my sweet tooth… both orange and white would be welcome… we get neither of those here….

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  12. NotAPunkRocker says:

    I used the Chinese New Year last year to start 2014 over since the calendar date occasion was lousy. Thanks for the reminder for this year!

    I think I would resort to dastardly deeds for an orange kitkat bar right now LOL

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    • joannesisco says:

      If I had telekinetic powers, you would have a KitKat in your hands right now 🙂

      I’m with you … Chinese New Year is one of those re-boot occasions throughout the year. Quite frankly, I identify more with being a Monkey than a Pisces 🙂

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  13. Sammy D. says:

    Joanne – it must seem like a visit to a foreign land without the jetlag! Do any of the store clerks speak English? Or French ?!? Will you celebrate the New Year?

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    • joannesisco says:

      When I go to this grocery store, I really do feel like I’ve stepped into China. I’ve learned from experience that getting help to find something is nearly impossible.
      The guys stocking the floor and behind the sushi counter speak very little english … there’s a lot of vague waving and pointing. The cashiers I’ve dealt with do speak english but say very little – to any one actually.
      I don’t celebrate the Chinese New Year … although I would happily accept an invitation 🙂

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      • Sammy D. says:

        I typically feel very out of my element in stores like that. We don’t have Chinese but we have many Eastern European and Mexican. I let my introversion and shyness intimidate me. Plus I always wonder how long things have been sitting there because the atmosphere just oozes ‘old world’. It’s all an approach/avoidance thing with me. And I’m missing ‘life’ by not being brave!! Kudos to you 😋

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  14. treerabold says:

    I can’t imagine wanting an orange flavored KitKat bar….but I might be willing to try the green tea KitKat Helen mentioned!

    In Texas it is more likely to be labeled in Spanish and English….I wonder how Spanish and Chinese would look?!

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  15. Sue Slaght says:

    Not a fan of Kit Kat bars? What?! Apparently we are not long lost sisters after all.
    What fun to explore the market. Wish I had been there.

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  16. The whole juxtaposing of the language is lost on me. All I can think of is ….ORANGE CHOCOLATE KIT KATS….MUST TRY…

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  17. NancyTex says:

    If orange Kit Kat tastes anything like those orange chocolate ball things (you know, the ones you smash on the table top to separate the pieces?) Then I’m a little enthusiastic two thumbs up!

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  18. These look delicious in the orange version but the French-Chinese ones say ‘white’ (you can tell how closely I examined the display you photographed!) so they may be worth trying too. Must get a package for my son who is a chocolate and orange addict.

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  19. I’d have a giggle too 🙂 The Kit Kats look delicious. The Year of the Goat isn’t supposed to be such a good one so I’ve read. Perhaps some Kit Kats through the year will be a good thing 🙂 But I only believe in horoscopes if I like what they say 🙂

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  20. Mama Cormier says:

    I saw these limited edition Kit Kat bars at my daughter’s place last weekend. She bought them from her local grocery store in the Junction. I wonder if they’re peanut free. I’d like to take some to school for my library helpers.

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  21. Phil Taylor says:

    I do love to see bi-lingual packaging on familiar things. I wonder if there is French-Chinese Kit Kats in France or China.

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    • joannesisco says:

      I suspect not 🙂
      Like you, I find it so interesting to go someplace new and see a familiar product labelled in the local language. I think my all-time favourite was Rice Krispies in Brazil. I can’t remember what they were called, but I laughed out loud 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Helen C says:

    You got it right, Joanne. KitKat bar looks good 😉 If I remember right, there is green tea flavor too and that is good also 😉 恭喜發財! Helen

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  23. KitKats were a treat handed out sparingly when I was a kid. They were only labelled in English then. I have never seen the English / French, but French / Chinese? I spewed my coffee and the cat flew across the room. Too funny. I w.o.u.l.d. like to try the orange KitKat but I don’t eat chocolate anymore. Thanks for the memories and the giggles. 🙂

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  24. Well, you know my one year of Mandarin lessons has rendered me near-expert status (ha!) but yes, you’ve got the Mandarin right. Cantonese is Greek to me. And aren’t the produce sections of Asian markets heavenly? Huge fresh bunches of cilantro and spring onions and cabbages? And lemon grass that is actually fresh and not something you could use as kindling? I would love to try one of those orange KitKat bars….good excuse to hit the Asian market?? I think so….

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    • joannesisco says:

      Every time I go the market I linger over something new. This time it was a massive section of mushrooms of every type I could think of … and some I had never heard of before … like arrowhead mushrooms. I think I shall have to try all of them 🙂

      Hope you find the New Year KitKats at your local Asian market. Gilles discovered that the bar is actually individually wrapped double bars. He’s already eaten his way through half the “bar” 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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