symbol of portugal
The Legend of the Rooster
The legend of the Barcelos Rooster narrates the miraculous intervention of a dead rooster that crowed as proof of the innocence of a man wrongly accused and sentenced to be hanged.
In the 15th century, in a town in the north province of Minho, called Barcelos, an unsolved crime made people scared of leaving their homes.
At the same time the crime happened, a pilgrim, an extremely poor one, was passing through Barcelos to fulfill a promise he had made to Santiago de Compostela.
Despite of his explanation as why he was in town, the pilgrim was arrested and sentenced to death by hanging. But he refused to go without standing in front of a judge. So, he went to the judge’s house who was having a rooster meal.
He wanted to live, he had love for life, but his words did not convince the judge who, by this time, had lost his appetite and set aside his meal.
Sentenced to death, the pilgrim looked into the judge’s eyes and stated that at the time of his hanging, that cooked rooster would crow, proving his innocence. Every person in that room laughed and mocked the poor pilgrim.
As he was to be executed, the cooked rooster stood upon the table and crowed. The judge realized his mistake and rushed to save the pilgrim.
He loved life and he wasn’t about going to give up. That drive was passed to Portuguese people and today they display the Barcelos Rooster with pride, showing that life is worth living even when you are faced with the toughest challenges.
That's why the Barcelos Rooster is considered a symbol of goodluck. Portuguese people believe that to bring good fortune the Rooster must be gifted and not bought.