Happy Valentine’s Day! Valentine’s Day began as a commemoration for an early Christian martyr, but now it has largely become a secular holiday celebrated across the world. This holiday is a celebration of love; so whether you have a boyfriend, girlfriend, a husband, or wife, celebrate this day with these funny memes.
And who can ignore this advice? It seems pretty foolproof, doesn’t it?
Looking for some history about the holiday? The two Valentines that are typically identified with February 14 are Valentine of Rome (a priest) and Valentine of Terni (a bishop.) They were both persecuted by the emperors and had terrible deaths that eventually got them elected to sainthood. Saint Valentine’s skull is on display in Rome and is adorned with flowers. In The Dictionary of Christianity, author J.C. Cooper wrote that Saint Valentine was “a priest of Rome who was imprisoned for succoring persecuted Christians.” But despite its dark beginnings, Valentine’s has evolved into a celebration of happiness and love — and really sarcastic humor.
The most common folk story about Saint Valentine is that he was persecuted as a Christian. He tried to convert Roman Emperor Claudius II, but Claudius refused and had Valentine executed. But before his execution, Valentine allegedly healed his jailer Asterius’ blind daughter, giving her back her sight. The jailer then converted to Christianity, along with the rest of his household.
But what about Cupid? Saint Valentine allegedly wore a purple amethyst ring with cupids around it that was a legal Romand symbol that the person wearing it could perform marriage ceremonies. The historical accuracy of this is debated.
The monk Geoffrey Chaucer, the author of Canterbury Tales, wrote the first modern literary reference to Valentine’s Day. In a 1382 poem titled Parlement of Foules, Chaucer wrote: “For this was on St. Valentine’s Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate.” The first reference to a February 14 festivity celebrating love was written in 1400. According to the book Debate of the Romance of the Rose by David F. Hult, the Charter of the Court of Love, issued by Charles VI of France, described a celebration where everyone would feast and celebrate all things love.
But the modern day Valentine’s began in the 19th Century, with mechanical printing making Valentine’s cards more and more accessible. Interestingly, February 14 isn’t called “Valentine’s Day” everywhere around the world. In some places, it’s simply called “love day” or “lover day.”
Some of this year’s Valentine’s are getting a bit political, but they’re still really funny.
And some are just really cute:
The science-y ones may be the best: