Via Deutsche Welle

Carnival celebrations across Germany, including parades in Cologne and Düsseldorf, were canceled due to strong winds from Storm Yulia on Sunday, local media reported.

The Schull- and Veedelszöch, or [School and District] celebration in Cologne was set to attract over 250,000 participants and visitors, according to Tagesschau, the newsroom of Germany’s public broadcaster ARD.

It’s the second-largest Carnival parade, next to the Rosenmontag [Rose Monday] parade in Cologne.

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The hallmark of the Schull- and Veedelszöch celebration are the colorful, unusual costumes and parade floats that are designed by schools and local community groups from the greater Cologne area.

Originally, the event had been brought forward a few hours and the route was shortened, but gale-force winds and strong rainfall were struck the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia on Sunday morning, forcing its cancellation.

Residents told to stay home

Authorities in the city warned the public not to venture outside due to the risk of injury.

As well as Cologne, Düsseldorf called off its Kö-Treiben parade, which sees musicians, people in fancy dress and families come together to move through the center of the city.

“We didn’t make the decision lightly,” said the Düsseldorf Carnival Committee spokesman, of the decision that was made in conjunction with the police, fire brigade and regulatory office.

Several events in smaller German towns and cities were also canceled.

Central and southern Germany were also expected to be impacted by severe weather.

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Calmer weather is expected on Monday, so the Rose Monday parade is expected to proceed as normal. Carnival is a six-day festival celebrated between the end of February and start of March, marking the period before Lent. In Germany, it’s most often celebrated in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

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lc/mm (AFP, dpa)