The Cologne carnival is a carnival that takes place every year in Cologne, Germany. Traditionally, the "fifth season" (carnival season) is declared open at 11 minutes past 11 on the 11th of November. The Carnival spirit is then temporarily suspended during the Advent and Christmas period, and picks up again in earnest in the New Year.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has never been far from the headlines in the past 12 months. Often, however, it has been for his predilection for the company of women, as depicted in this bit of Carnival fun.
Not to be outdone, German Chancellor Angela Merkel makes an appearance on a couple of floats, albeit in a slightly more dour appearance than last year, when she was shown in a bikini. Here, she is carrying a briefcase labelled "record debts" in a reference to the country's burgeoning deficit.
Carnival just wouldn't be Carnival without an appearance by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. US presidents as cowboys are also a tried-and-true standby.
Switzerland, of course, recently voted to ban minarets. Here, a muezzin is being blown out of a typically Swiss Alpine horn.
Obama in bed with Chinese President Hu Jintao? A play on US reliance on Chinese money during the financial crisis.
So that's what Lady Liberty is up to back there!
Angela Merkel once again, as the queen of Europe. Her rolling pin reads "common values"
The float was presented on Friday, when it was pulled through the streets of Cologne. The banner reads, "you are artists and we aren't."