Festa das Cruzes

Barcelos is a city and municipality in the Portuguese Braga district. The symbol of this city is o galo de Barcelos ("the Rooster of Barcelos"). From the 1st to 3rd of May the people of Barcelos organize the Festa das Cruzes ("Festival of Crosses").

Galo de Barcelos
Galo de Barcelos

There is a legend about the origin of the festival. Let's return to the year 1504. A peasant decided to work on the day of the Holy Cross. While working on a piece of land he saw a lightning cross. He could not move it. It was considered a sign from God. This is known as the Miracle of Crosses.

Until the 19th century the festival was of religious nature. Pilgrims had been arriving from all over Portugal and neighbouring Galicia. On the 3rd of May there is the Procession of Holy Cross.
In the 20th century numerous various secular elements were added to the festival. So, the visitors can enjoy in circus performances, parades of people in folk costumes, fireworks, horse races and other competitions.