Hundreds of thousands of carnival revellers took to the streets of Cologne, Düsseldorf and Mainz on Monday for the traditional Rose Monday parades famed for their satirical procession floats.
This year, the resignation of Christian Wulff as president on Friday featured prominently in the floats rolling through the streets, but the show was stolen by a float design in Düsseldorf illustrating the close Franco-German relationship, with a deliriously amorous Nicolas Sarkozy nestling in the ample cleavage of the noticeably larger German chancellor. The euro crisis was a another theme, with Merkel being portrayed as Europe's savior.
Rosenmontag, also known as Rose Monday, is one of the highlights of the German Carnival. Rose Monday is celebrated on the Monday before Ash Wednesday to mark the beginning of Lent in Germany, East Belgium, Austria and Switzerland. The carnival is most extravagant in areas of the Rhineland, including Cologne, Bonn, Düsseldorf, Aachen and Mainz.
A carnival float with papier-mache to illustrate the close political relationship between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy (L). REUTERS/Ina Fassbender
A float with papier-mache depicting Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with a dynamite in his mouth with the text 'Nuclear Programme. REUTERS/Ina Fassbender
A reveller celebrates the traditional Rose Monday carnival parade in the western German city of Duesseldorf on Feb. 20, 2012. REUTERS/Ina Fassbender
Revellers celebrate the traditional Rose Monday carnival parade in the western German city of Duesseldorf on Feb. 20, 2012. REUTERS/Ina Fassbender
A carnival float with papier-mache depicting German Chancellor Angela Merkel with text on the dress 'Emergency parachute'. REUTERS/Ina Fassbender
A float with papier-mache showing German Chancellor Angela Merkel and a skeleton showing the Free Democratic Party (FDP) on a bicycle. REUTERS/Ina Fassbender
A papier-mache frog with the text on its tongue 'Islamization' and a butterfly with 'Arab Spring'. REUTERS/Ina Fassbender
A float with papier-mache showing a pistol with the text 'Right Terror' is pictured at the traditional Rose Monday carnival parade. The float lampoons the failure of the German justice system, intelligence service and police to stop the so-called Zwickau cell of neo-Nazi terrorists who committed at least 10 murders and a series of bank robberies since 2000 and weren't discovered until last November. REUTERS/Ina Fassbender
A float with papier-mache showing former German President Christian Wulff as caricature eagle is pictured at the traditional Rose Monday carnival parade in the western German city of Duesseldorf on Feb. 20, 2012. The sign reads "Good Bye." REUTERS/Ina Fassbender
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