It's an event characterized by its' street parties, dancing and beer-drinking. And if you think winter weather could put a damper on this celebration, think again!
Despite the fact that temperatures dipped all the way to minus six degrees Celsius on Thursday, thousands of people were still on hand for the carnival kick-off.
Decked out in colourful costumes, those in attendance kept warm by sipping traditional Cologne beer.
This festival is also known as the 'Wenches Carnival', where women run around cutting off the ends of men's ties and then rewarding them with a kiss.
Quite appropriate on this Valentine's Day weekend.