Fans of pugs in Ukraine had their fill of scary and cute from the beloved dog breed in Kiev, at a Halloween-themed costume contest and fashion show on Sunday (25 October). About a hundred dogs dressed as spiders, angels, dragons and film characters showed off their costumes at the city's Glory park, watched closely by owners, some whom had also donned costumes of Santa Claus and Superman.

Festival and contest organiser Marina and her pug chose a Mexican theme for their own costume at the event. "You know, we always perform as a couple in duo performances. That is why today we decided to present our Mexican style costumes: Donna Muerte and Juan Carlos. It is the first such celebration for us and we have been preparing for it very seriously," said Marina holding up her black pug wearing a red sombrero.

One pug owner decided to show his patriotism by dressing up his four-legged friend in a costume in the colours of Ukraine's national football team. Some festival participants had adjusted children's clothing to fit their dogs.

"Yes, we created the costume ourselves. We made this collar and hat ourselves, and this one we bought. It was a child costume which we've adjusted and now we have such a funny pumpkin," said Kseniya, a festival participant.

The pug, with its wrinkly and short muzzled face was brought from China to Europe in the 16th century. In recent years popularity of the dog breed has grown, partly due to popular culture with international celebrities often seen carrying their pets out in public. Celebrities like Kelly Osbourne and Gerard Butler both have been snapped with their pugs in public by paparazzi.

Alexander, a festival participant, attributes the dog's popularity to its gentle character. "Dogs of this breed make one's mood better. It is the kind of dog that you can always look at and melt. So it is a soul mate dog," said Alexander.

The culmination of the festival was a pug fashion show contest which was won by a dog dressed as the main character of the 1990 film Edward Scissorhands.