Portugal Rooster Symbol: Meaning, Significance and More

Reema Bharti

Reema Bharti

· 3 min read

The Barcelos Rooster is the Portugal Rooster Symbol. This emblem, which is the unofficial emblem of Portugal, may be found in numerous variations in every local store, but the gift shops particularly carry it. 

Mostly seen in its traditional pottery form, this national sign is now embroidered on towels and aprons. Paperweights, key chains, and other well-liked travel presents are examples of further mementos. 

What is the Meaning of the Portugal Rooster Symbol?

The Portugal Rooster, also known as "Galo de Barcelos," carries profound cultural significance and historical symbolism within Portuguese folklore. Iconic for its vibrant colors and legendary tales, this emblem has come to embody the spirit of Portugal, representing themes of faith, justice, and national pride.

Its origins are deeply rooted in local traditions, making it a revered symbol that continues to resonate with the country's identity and heritage. Let's explore the rich and fascinating meaning behind this enduring national icon.

Origin of the Portugal Rooster Symbol

The origins of the Portugal Rooster can be traced back to an ancient tale of faith, survival, and justice. Rooted in the folklore of Barcelos, a small town in northern Portugal, this iconic emblem has evolved into a powerful national symbol over the centuries.

With its intricate blend of legend and history, the Portugal Rooster holds a captivating narrative that reflects the resilience and cultural heritage of the Portuguese people. Let's delve into the intriguing origins of this enduring symbol and uncover its significance in Portuguese culture.

Significance of Rooster in Portuguese Tradition

The significance of the rooster in Portuguese tradition is deeply intertwined with the country's cultural, religious, and historical fabric. Embedded in folklore, art, and even everyday life, the rooster holds a revered status as a symbol of vigilance, faith, and national pride.


From its associations with religious legend to its representation in traditional handicrafts and festivities, the rooster stands as a poignant emblem that reflects the resilience and spirit of the Portuguese people.

Unraveling the deeper meaning behind this iconic symbol unveils a rich tapestry of tradition and symbolism that continues to resonate across Portugal's customs and heritage. More details are listed below.

Luck and Prosperity


The well-known Barcelos cock, commonly referred to as the "Portuguese good luck rooster," is so named because the Portuguese consider owning one to be auspicious.

It is believed to bring luck and prosperity to the Portuguese people.

Faith and Justice

The story of Barcelos Rooster was a  famous one for showing justice and faith. Portuguese people have a lot of faith in this story. 

A rooster can be found in every next Portugal door.

National Identity

Portugal's national emblem is galo de barcelos. The legend of the pilgrim united the whole Portugal and gradually it became the national identity.

Vibrancy and Resilience

The beautiful colors of the rooster look very vibrant and represent resilience. The colorful representation of the Barcelos Cockerel was adopted for many years as the symbol of the tourism of Portugal.

Artistic Expression

The medieval stone cross that can be seen in the Archaeological Museum of the town is related to the legend of the Cockerel of Barcelos. It is usually represented by a colourful ceramic rooster decorated with hearts and flowers.

Misunderstandings about the Portugal Rooster Symbol

Misunderstandings about the Portugal Rooster Symbol includes religious symbolism, as a solely decorative item, limited to Barcelos, superstitious beliefs, modern origin and exclusive to Portugal.

Limited to Barcelos

Some people believe that the Rooster's significance is limited to the town of Barcelos due to the famous legend. While Barcelos has a strong association with the Rooster, it has become a national symbol representing Portugal's identity and culture.
It is limited to the town of Barcelos only. It is famous among Portuguese and the visitors who visit Portugal on trips also know about it.

Religious Symbolism

The Rooster is often mistakenly associated with religious symbolism. It marks and shows respect towards the religion. It is an unofficial emblem of Portuguese. It is also called Rooster of Barcelos as the story took place in the town of Barcelos.

Solely Decorative

Most people believe that it was a false story. Some people perceive the Rooster as merely a decorative motif without deeper cultural significance. It is found in most of the houses for representing the beliefs.

Superstitions and Magical Powers

There are misconceptions about the Rooster has magical or supernatural powers. The story leads to superstitious beliefs among the Portuguese. The image of the Galo de Barcelos held such a strong cultural and symbolic importance that in 1935 it represented Portugal for the first time in Geneva.

Modern Origin

Some people mistakenly assume that the Rooster symbol is a recent creation or a marketing invention.

The origin of the Rooster is old and famous. But the colorful and vibrant showpiece adds modern origin to it. Later, a cross in honor of the Virgin Mary and St. James, who the pilgrim felt were responsible for saving him is referred to as the Cross of the Lord of the Rooster.

Exclusively Portuguese

Some of the people think that the Rooster symbol is exclusive to Portugal, and is found in Portugal only. The rooster symbol or Portuguese rooster is exclusively Portuguese and it is not available anywhere else.

Frequently Asked Question on Portugal Rooster Symbol

Q: What is the significance of the rooster in Portuguese culture?

Ans. The significance of the rooster in Portuguese culture is that it brings prosperity and luck to the people.

Q: Why is the rooster a national symbol of Portugal?

Ans. The rooster is a national symbol of Portugal because it unites the people and stands for justice and faith. It is also one of the most curious national symbols of Portugal.

Q: How does the rooster play a role in Portuguese art and handicrafts?

Ans. The rooster plays a role in Portuguese art and handicrafts because it acts as a decorative item in every other household in Portugal. It can be found in gift shops and art museums.

Q: Are there specific events or festivals in Portugal that celebrate the rooster symbol?

Ans. Yes, the annual festival known as the Festa das Cruzes is celebrated for its famous rooster symbol in May.

Reema Bharti

Reema Bharti

I am a globe-trotter with a passion for exploration. From the sun-kissed coasts of Portugal to the snow-capped peaks of Switzerland, my travels are as diverse as they are inspiring. My journeys through Spain, Finland, Austria, and Germany have fueled my soul and shaped my writing.