Cologne’s carnival is almost as old as the German city itself.
On Thursday, thousands of revellers lined the streets to mark the start of six days of uninterrupted partying.
Extravagant costumes of all colours and shapes were on show in the hundreds of floats that travelled across the city.
"I think it's important for people to be someone else. Tomorrow they are just someone who goes to their office and goes to work, but today they can be anyone," carnival-goer Thilo Bamtring told reporters.
Dubbed the "fifth season of the year," the German carnival is held on the final days before the start of Christian Lent.