Imagem card

The Dawn Rooster (O Galo da Madrugada)

The name came about because they had to parade on the Saturday of Carnival, at dawn, before the commercial opening hours of the city centre.

The Dawn Rooster (O Galo da Madrugada)

Article available in: PT-BR ESP

Last update: 16/09/2013

By: Lúcia Gaspar - Librarian of the Fundação Joaquim Nabuco

With the objective of reviving old street Carnivals, helping to maintain tradition and counterbalancing the dominance of the Carnival balls of Recife social clubs, a group of friends, lead by businessman Enéas Freire, decided to create, in December 1977, the Clube de Máscaras O Galo da Madrugada (Dawn Rooster Masked Club). The name came about because they had to parade on the Saturday of Carnival, at dawn, before the commercial opening hours of the city centre.

Its first parade occurred on Saturday, 23 January 1978, at 5am, leaving the club’s headquarters at 43 Rua Padre Floriano, in the São José neighbourhood.  Made up of 75 partygoers, in ghost costumes, Galo paraded through the streets of the São José and Santo Antônio neighbourhoods, in the centre of Recife.

Currently, the route of the parade begins in front of the Forte das Cinco Pontas (Five Points Fort) (the assembly point), follows Dantas Barreto Avenue to Sérgio Loreto Place, then Rua da Concórdia and finishes in Guararapes Avenue, in front of the Duarte Coelho Bridge, where the Rooster doll, measuring 35 metres in height, and the private booths are erected by the Recife City Council.

Since 1978, the Galo da Madrugada has been parading, every year, on the Saturday of Carnival, known as Zé Pereira. Today, however, it is no longer at dawn. The official start of the parade is at 10am and goes until the end of the afternoon. There are still many traditional groups that arrive early, around 6 or 7am, to its assembly point.

From a small number of partygoers, Galo da Madrugada now attracts over a million people to the city streets, and because of this it has been considered by the Guiness Book of World Records as the largest Carnival parade in the world since 1995. In 2009, the official estimate was that the Galo da Madrugada parade had around two million people participating.

Besides the multitude on the central streets and bridges of the city, the Carnival Block also draws a large number of boats that position themselves on the Capibaribe River, near the Duarte Coelho Bridge, between Guararapes Avenue and Conde da Boa Vista Avenue, to watch the procession.

Along with creatively masked and costumed partygoers, many of whom are in groups, satirical cars, including lead cars, various ‘trios elétricos’ – large double-decker buses equipped with sound systems and bands playing on the top level – (almost 30 in 2009) and ‘freviocas’ (trucks with frevo orchestras), Galo’s predominant rhythm is frevo. Also played by the ‘trios elétricos’ are traditional Carnival marches like Oh, abre alas, Jardineira, Mamãe, eu quero, O teu cabelo não nega, as well as the participation of artists and bands such as the Quinteto Violado and Nação Zumbi, who excite the crowd throughout the parade, whose length is about 5km.

Thrown from the windows of buildings are confetti, streamers and, sometimes, water to “cool off” the partygoers.

The Hino do Galo (Galo Anthem) and Galo, eu te amo (Galo, I Love You) are the songs that excite the crowd the most:

Hino do Galo (Galo Anthem)
Music: José Mário Chaves
Lyrics: Alceu Valença

Chorus:

Ei pessoal, vem moçada (Hey people, come gang)
Carnaval começa no Galo da Madrugada (repeat) (Carnival begins at Galo da Madrugada)
A manhã já vem surgindo (The morning is already coming)
O sol clareia a cidade com seus raios de cristal (The sun lights the city with its crystal rays)
E o Galo da Madrugada (And Galo da Madrugada)
Já está na rua, saudando o Carnaval (Is already in the streets, saluting Carnival)

Chorus...

As donzelas estão dormindo (The maidens are sleeping)
As flores recebendo o orvalho matinal (The flowers receiving their morning dew)
E o Galo da Madrugada (And Galo da Madrugada)
Já está na rua, saudando o Carnaval (Is already in the streets, saluting Carnival)

Chorus...

O Galo também é de briga (The Rooster can also fight)
As esporas afiadas, e a crista é coral (Its sharp talons, and its comb is coral)
E o Galo da Madrugada (And Galo da Madrugada)
Já está na rua, saudando o Carnaval (Is already in the streets, saluting Carnival)

Galo, eu te amo (Galo, I love you)
Composed by Almir Rouche

Ah... Meu galo vai me ouvir cantar (Ah… My rooster will hear me sing)
E os meus ouvidos vão te amar (And my ears will love you)
Quando você cantar também! (When you sing too!)

Ah... Se der vontade de chorar. (Ah… If it makes me cry)
Vou abrir os braços prá te abraçar. (I’ll open my arms to embrace you.)
Te dar um beijo, pegar o caminho (Give you a kiss, be on my way)
Ir embora, até o ano que vem! (Leave, until next year!)
Pra te ver de novo aqui, te abraçar, (To see you here again, to hug you)
Voltar a sorrir já chegou meu carnaval! (My smile to return, already my Carnival has arrived!)
Vou dividir com você (I will share with you)

Esse amor que não tem fim, (This love that has no end)
Feche os olhos levante a mão (Close your eyes, raise your hand)
Balançando, e cante a canção... (Waving, and sing the song…)

Galo eu te amo! Sou apaixonado por você! (Galo, I love you! I’m in love with you!)
Galo eu te amo! E sem você não sei viver! (Galo, I love you! And without you I don’t know how to live!)
Galo eu te amo! E sem você não sei viver! (Galo, I love you! And without you I don’t know how to live!)

Nem a luz do sol que anuncia o verão (Not even the sunlight that announces summer)
Apaga esse brilho que vem de você (Can dim this shine that comes from you)
Passei o ano contando os dias (I’ve spent the year counting the days)
Pra te ver, pra te ver...(To see you, to see you)

Galo eu te amo! Sou apaixonado por você! (Galo, I love you! I’m in love with you!)
Galo eu te amo! E sem você não sei viver! (Galo, I love you! And without you I don’t know how to live!)
Galo eu te amo! E sem você não sei viver! (Galo, I love you! And without you I don’t know how to live!)

The official standard of Galo da Madrugada was created by Mauro Freire, the son of the founder and perpetual president of the Block, Enéas Freire. It is composed of a coloured rooster on a perch, having a golden son behind, three masks, confetti, streamers and musical notes of our rhythm, Frevo, according to the creator.

A non-profit organisation, the Clube de Máscaras O Galo da Madrugada currently owns its own headquarters, Palácio Enéas Freire, located at number 984 on Rua da Concórdia, in front of the bandstand at Sérgio Loreto Plaza. Inaugurated on 2 December 2008, the Casa do Galo (Rooster House), as it is known, occupies an area of 1,000 square metres, where it is possible to have administrative meetings and host the group’s cultural events. At the new headquarters, a memorial of the group and its creator Enéas Freire, who died on 9 June 2008, at age 86, will be created, in honour of the 32nd parade of Galo da Madrugada, with the theme Enéas: Alegria do Carnaval (Enéas: Joy of Carnival), in 2009.

On 20 February 2009, Clube de Máscaras O Galo da Madrugada became, besides the largest Carnival parade in the world, an immaterial patrimony of Pernambuco.


Recife, 1 December 2009.
Translated by Peter Leamy, February 2011.

sources consulted

BARBOZA, Mariana. Galo da Madrugada reúne 1,6 milhão em Recife, 2006. Disponível em: <http://www.estadao.com.br/noticias/cidades,com-35-trios-galo-da-madrugada-toma-as-ruas-do-recife,327904,0.htm>. Acesso em: 22 out. 2009.

O GALO da Madrugada: Site oficial. Disponível em: <http://www.galodamadrugada.org.br/oGalo.php?cod=1>. Acesso em: 28 out. 2009.

GALO da madrugada. Disponível em; <http://www.truenet.com.br/galo/historia.html>. Acesso em: 22 out. 2009.

GALO da Madrugada. Disponível em: <http://wapedia.mobi/pt/Galo_da_Madrugada>. Acesso em: 21 out. 2009

GALO da Madrugada. Hino do Galo. Disponível em; <http://wapedia.mobi/pt/Galo_da_Madrugada?t=1.#1>. Acesso em: 21 out. 2009.

KRAUSE, Gustavo. O Galo da Madrugada e o reino do pernambucarnaval.   Continente Multicultural, Recife, ano 6, n. 62, p.76-81, fev. 2006.

DESFILE do Galo da Madrugada, no carnaval de 2009. Disponível em: <http://www.nacaocultural.pe.gov.br/desfile-do-galo-da-madrugada-no-carnaval-2009#>. Acesso em: 28 out. 2009.

how to quote this text

Source: GASPAR, Lúcia. O Galo da Madrugada (The Dawn Rooster). Pesquisa Escolar On-Line, Joaquim Nabuco Foundation, Recife. Available at:  <https://pesquisaescolar.fundaj.gov.br/en/>. Accessed: day month year. Exemple: 6 Aug. 2009.