Carnival is know as die fünfte Jahreszeit (the fifth season) in German. It is a time when the usual rules of polite society are thrown out the window.
In the major cities of the Rhine region the inhabitants become Narren (jesters) for a week, mocking the political establishment of the day with satirical floats which parade through the city centres.
The past twelve months have clearly provided plenty of ammunition to the west German satirists.
In Düsseldorf one of the central floats on Rosenmontag (Rose Monday) showed US President Donald Trump standing next to French presidential hopeful Marine Le Pen, Dutch far-right leader Geert Wilders and Adolf Hitler – all of them sporting carefully coiffed blond manes.
The four populist leaders of past and present held a banner reading “Blond is the new brown”.
Another float in Düsseldorf appeared to show Trump raping the Statue of Liberty, while a neighbouring sculpture inverted a controversial recent Spiegel cover by having the Statue of Liberty behead the US President.
The US leader's relationship to the the Green Goddess was also brought up in Cologne, where has was depicted groping the statue while pulling his election rival Hillary Clinton by the hair on his first day at school. Awaiting him as his classroom buddy was Vladimir Putin.
In Mainz, the US president was depicted as an elephant crashing through crockery. The sign on the float read Trumpel-tier, a pun on the word for a two-humped camel Trampeltier. The word (literally: lumbering animal) is also an insult meaning klotz or clumsy person.
In piece of quite literally biting satire, Trump was portrayed, along with Vladimir Putin, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the leaders of Poland and Hungary, as a caterpillar munching away at the leaf of democracy.
But Trump wasn’t the only leader to invite the scorn of the Karneval Narren. Theresa May, Prime Minister of United Kingdom, was shown pointing a pistol through her own teeth inscribed with the word Brexit.