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The legend of the Rooster of Barcelos

The legend of the Rooster of Barcelos
7 September, 2021

A long time ago, a Galician pilgrim was passing through Portugal on his way to Santiago de Compostela to honour a vow. On reaching Barcelos, he decided to spend the night at an inn. The townsfolk, who were up in arms over a crime for which they could not find the culprit, accused the poor pilgrim who, despite protesting his innocence, was imprisoned and sentenced to death by hanging.

For his last wish, the Galician asked to be taken to the judge who had issued the sentence. When he arrived at the judges house, he came upon the honourable judge and his friends in the middle of a lavish feast. The Galician repeated that he was innocent but no one believed him. In despair, he noticed a baked rooster on a tray and said:

"Im surely as innocent as its certain that this rooster will crow when you hang me."

Everyone laughed but no one touched the rooster. When it was time for the hanging, the rooster stood up and crowed. The judge ran to the gallows and was surprised to find the poor man with the noose around his neck but the knot slack, preventing his strangulation. He was immediately released and told to go in peace.

That's why we usually say that the rooster means luck and justice. Justice was served as he was released once he had not committed any crime and was lucky because the knot was poorly tied and a roasted rooster managed to crow.

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