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Other Easter events

Many Easter concerts are held in Mendrisiotto during the Holy Week, and every municipality celebrates the memory of the Passion. A symbolic example of this tradition is the Way of the Cross that is annually held in Riva San Vitale on Good Friday. But since 1945 the Easter Calendar has been enriched with another permanent event, the Holy Play in Coldrerio, which is held every year in the "Castello" area on the evening of Holy Wednesday. It stages some episodes of the story of the Passion. Initially conceived as a total reproduction of the Funziun di Giüdee, in the 1960s it acquired features that recall conventional holy plays.

Unlike the processions of Holy Thursday and Holy Friday in Mendrisio, the one in Coldrerio has developed into a sort of country play inspired by "Italian drama centred on sacred topics" typical of the late 13th century and later widely practised through the Confraternities of the Disciplines. Holy plays were initially a sort of folk drama featuring large scenes, characters in costume and short dialogues. The preferred themes concerned the story of the Passion of Jesus or episodes of the life of the Blessed Virgin. The scope of these shows was purely to spread the biblical message in a simple form that could even be understood by the common people who often could not even read or write.

The derivation of the Holy Play in Coldrerio from the Funziun di Giüdee is also confirmed by the presence of a character like the soldier with the hatchet, who corresponds to the axe bearer of Mendrisio, typical of the town's tradition but totally absent from the evangelical story. Other figures, like Claudia Procula, wife of Pontius Pilate, are, instead, added to the parade. The Holy Play, which comprises three acts of respectively four, three and two frames, was considered from the mid-1980s as the prelude to the Historical Processions of Mendrisio.