Galo de Barcelos - the legend Customs and Traditions Portugal

The charming legend of the Galo de Barcelos dates from the mid- 16th Century. In Barcelos, a quiet village in the North of Portugal, the people were worried about crimes being committed by an as yet unidentified culprit, causing fear and insecurity.

One day, a man from Galicia appeared and he was immediately considered suspicious. Despite incessantly claiming his innocence, defending himself and stating that he was on a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, the authorities arrested him and sentenced him to hang.
He asked to speak to the judge on his innocence one last time and was granted this opportunity. At the judge’s house a banquet was underway and there was a rooster. The man from Galicia swore he was innocent, stating that if he was innocent the rooster would crow.  Everyone laughed, but were awestruck when the rooster rose and started to sing. The judge immediately released the man.
This is one of the most typical legends of Portugal, and is a symbol of trust, joy and perseverance. Due to this legend, you can find the famous and colourful Barcelos rooster for sale anywhere in the country, in different sizes, shapes and materials.  It is now an icon of Portuguese identity around the world.