Focus on music

Christmas songs are extremely popular. Four of these musical gems feature as motifs on our "Christmas” special stamps.

Eduard Ebel, Joseph Mohr, James Lord Pierpont … these names may not mean anything to you. But you probably know the songs they wrote by heart, as they have long since become part of our culture and our identity.

The lyrics of "Silent Night" were originally taken from a Christmas poem written by assistant priest Joseph Mohr (1792–1848) from the Austrian village of Arnsdorf and Franz Xaver Gruber composed the hauntingly beautiful melody. Today the carol is sung in countless languages around world.


"Jingle Bells" was written in the mid-19th century by the American composer James Lord Pierpont. Although it’s not strictly a Christmas song, it is sung all over the world at Christmas.


In the case of "We wish you a merry Christmas", the writer is lost in the mists of time. A traditional English carol dating back to the 16th century, it also looks beyond Christmas to the beginning of the New Year.


"Snow falls softly at night" was written – and possibly also composed – by Protestant pastor Eduard Ebel (1839–1905). However, he may also have taken up an old folk tune. At any rate, he himself considered it a nursery rhyme.

Jürg Freudiger

Special post office Bethlehem

12 to 15 December 2017 

Place: Special post office Bethlehem, “im Tscharni”, Café und Quartierzentrum, Waldmannstrasse 17, 3027 Berne 

Directions: Tram no. 8 to Tscharnergut tram stop 

Opening times:
Tuesday, 12 December, 1 to 5 p.m.
Wednesday, 13 December, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. / 1 to 5 p.m.
Thursday, 14 December, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. / 1 to 5 p.m.
Friday, 15 December, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. / 1 to 5 p.m.

A letterbox will also be set up from 12 December (1 p.m.) until 15 December (5 p.m.). 

Letters mailed and franked with valid postage stamps will also be cancelled (must not contain valuable items and please use the correct franking amount, also applies to registered items). These should be sent in a franked envelope by no later than 14 December 2017 to the following address: PostalNetwork, Retail Logistics, “Bethlehem” Cancellation Service, Werkstrasse 41, 3250 Lyss. 

Please include a stamped self-addressed envelope so that the article for cancellation can be returned to you. Thank you.