Portugal

THE ROOSTER OF HAPPINESS (O GALO DE BARCELOS)

Donated by Portugal to Gatineau. The unveiling on June 10, 2009, Portugal's national day, was attended by His Excellency Pedro Moitinho de Almeida, Ambassador, and Mayor Marc Bureau.

The Rooster of Happiness is a gift of the Portuguese House of Arts and Culture, with the collaboration of the Centre communautaire portugais Les Amis unis, the Mission catholique portugaise du Saint-Esprit, the Association culturelle portugaise d'Aylmer and Musacademia.

The Rooster of Happiness is the unofficial symbol of Portugal. The profusely decorated, painted rooster comes from Barcelos, a city of Portugal known for its pottery and handicrafts, and it symbolizes the Portuguese people's folk arts and love of life.

According to legend, a pilgrim in Barcelos was accused of theft, arrested and condemned to be hung. Asking to speak to a judge, who was about to eat a roasted rooster, the pilgrim stated that, to prove his innocence, the rooster would stand up from the plate and crow. The surprised judge watched the rooster rise in defence of the man. The rooster still symbolizes the victory of those who struggle for justice.

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