The annual Rose Monday parade, featuring satirical floats poking fun at world leaders, is usually the highlight of Germany's carnival season, but stormy weather forced many cities to cancel the festivities. Duesseldorf, Mainz, Muenster, Duisburg and Essen called off their processions because of a storm that was predicted to hit western Germany, with winds gusting up to 100 kilometres per hour.
Although rain stopped play, photographers managed to capture photos of the floats, many of which referred to Germany's handling of the refugee crisis. A carnival float depicts German Chancellor Angela Merkel capsizing on a wave of refugees Ralph Orlowski/Reuters A carnival float depicts the Statue of Liberty thumbing her nose at Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump Ralph Orlowski/Reuters A carnival float depicts Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan toasting an Islamic State fighter with the blood of Kurds Ralph Orlowski/Reuters A carnival float depicting a clown facing an Islamist fighter is pictured in front of the city hall in Duesseldorf Ralph Orlowski/Reuters A carnival float depicts Bavaria's State Premier Horst Seehofer who tried to close the border to refugees Ralph Orlowski/Reuters A carnival float depicting Jaroslaw Kaczynski, Poland's prime minster and leader of the right-wing Law and Justice party oppressing Poland Patrik Stollarz/AFP A carnival float depicts one of the German federal eagle wings burning due to attacks on refugee shelters Patrik Stollarz/AFP A float depicts a red devil with a legend reading "Death of Retail - Amazon" Patrik Stollarz/AFP Two spectators stand in an empty grandstand after the Rose Monday parade was called off in Duesseldorf Ralph Orlowski/Reuters The deserted route of the Rose Monday (Rosenmontag) street parade in Duesseldorf Patrik Stollarz/AFP A carnival reveller holds on to his headdress in high winds in Duesseldorf Ralph Orlowski/Reuters A carnival reveller shelters from the rain after the Rose Monday parade in Mainz was cancelled Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters A carnival reveller, wearing a plastic rain cover, is pictured after the Rose Monday parade was called off in Mainz Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters Cologne went ahead with its parade but has banned horses, large puppets and flags from the event for safety reasons. A side from the weather, authorities in Cologne placed a particular focus on security this year, to prevent a repeat of the string of robberies and sexual assaults that occurred in the city at New Year.
More than one million people are expected to attend events in Cologne for carnival week, which began with
Women's Day on Thursday 7 February. Carnival revellers are reflected in a puddle during the annual Rose Monday parade in Cologne Volker Hartmann/Getty Images Carnival revellers protect themselves from the heavy rain in Cologne during the annual Rose Monday parade Volker Hartmann/Getty Images A float symbolising right wing parties attacking democracy is seen during the annual Rose Monday parade in Cologne Volker Hartmann/Getty Images A float depicting a sad-looking Angela Merkel makes its way through the streets of Cologne Volker Hartmann/Getty Images People celebrate in the rain during the Rose Monday parade in Cologne Volker Hartmann/Getty Images Migrants from Syria hold their national flag outside the cathedral in Cologne Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters Police officers keep watch during Cologne's annual Rose Monday parade Volker Hartmann/Getty Images A police officer with a teddy bear in his uniform pocket patrols during the Rose Monday parade in Cologne Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters Carnival musicians wearing plastic rain covers over their uniforms relieve themselves in the bushes before taking take part in the Rose Monday parade in Cologne Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters
Rose Monday celebrations in Mainz and Duesseldorf will be postponed to a later date.