But some of them are wearing those red cardboard noses. Do they count?
The carnivals are being held despite the fact Germany is undergoing a fourth wave of COVID-19 infections, setting a record Wednesday for the number of daily infections.
And while the vaccine requirement was strictly enforced, the streets of Cologne were filled with people, side by side, without masks.
Thursday’s celebrations began with a somewhat ominous sign – designated so-called prince for the Cologne carnival, Sven Oleff, had tested positive for COVID-19 the previous day, a breakthrough case since he is fully vaccinated. The festival committee said he showed no symptoms and was feeling well.