Watch: Revellers celebrate the start of Germany's carnival season

Thousands of revellers have celebrated the start of carnival season in the German city of Cologne on Friday.

Dressed in costumes, from clowns to wild animals, they gathered in the city's Heumarkt Square and danced to live music.

Traditionally, carnival is celebrated throughout cities in the Rhineland area. It normally begins on 11th hour of the 11th day on the 11th month, and typically, lasts until Ash Wednesday, six weeks before Easter.

Two years ago, the carnival was thought to be responsible for Germany's first COVID-19 outbreak after party-goers gathered at an indoor event in Heinsberg. Some events last year were cancelled due to the emergence of the Omicron variant, but this year there are no COVID-19 restrictions.

Despite the cost of living crisis and war in Ukraine, Europeans are still determined to enjoy themselves.