The Barcelos Rooster is considered to be the unofficial symbol of Portugal. This national symbol is mostly found in its typical ceramic form or embroidered on towels and aprons. Representing justice, happiness and good-luck, its popularity is based on the legend of the Galo de Barcelos.
The legend tells the story about a pilgrim travelling through Barcelos (northern Portugal) who is accused of stealing silver from a landowner, and is sentenced to death by hanging. To plead his innocence, he begged the judge to reverse his sentence. While the judge was about to feast on a roasted cockerel, the pilgrim vowed that as proof of his innocence the cockerel would stand up on his plate and crow 3 times. The judge pushed aside his meal and laughed. Miraculously the cockerel stood up and crowed. Leaving the judge in disbelief, he set the innocent man free. Many years later, the pilgrim returned to Barcelos to carve a statue of the cockerel, known ever since as the Rooster of Good Luck and Happiness.
The story can vary depending on the telling but the main idea is about the roasted rooster declaring the pilgrim innocent.
Always vividly coloured, the Rooster is said to be the embodiment of the Portuguese love of life.
Now that you know the significance of the symbol, you can add this piece of Portugal pride to your home.
I have one rooster in my home and Margaret has several.
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