COLOGNE, Germany – Germans are braving rain, high winds and tight security to celebrate this year's Carnival season.
Tens of thousands of people joined street parties in the western cities of Cologne, Duesseldorf and Mainz on Thursday for the start of five days of public festivities.
Among the clown and devil costumes seen every year there were also a number of people dressed as Donald Trump.
The U.S. president is expected to feature prominently on the gaudy Carnival floats at next week's "Rose Monday" processions.
Police are out in force this year and authorities have placed heavy barriers at strategic locations amid concerns about possible extremist attacks of the kind that hit a Berlin Christmas market last year, killing 12.
Meteorologists have forecast winds over 100 kph (62 mph) on Friday.