In Germany, Pfeffern ("peppering") is a spanking-related Christmas/New Year tradition. In some rural Catholic regions, children go from door to door through the village and hit the adult's (mostly on their legs) with a rod, after which they get a treat (sweets, pastries or money).
The tradition is documented since the 18th century.
The boys and girls do this on different days. The boys go pfeffern on 28 December, Innocents' Day, with a willow rod, and target the females in the village. In some regions the rod is decorated with red ribbons. They ask "Schmeckt der Pfeffer gut?" ("Does the pepper taste good?", a food-related metaphor for spanking) and continue to "pepper" until their victim replies "Ja, es schmeckt gut" ("Yes, it tastes good") and gives them a treat.
The girls go "peppering" on New Year's Day (1 January). They use a rod made from birch or spruce and target the men and boys. They ask "Schmeckt das Neujahr gut?" ("Does the New Year taste good?"); the rest is the same as with the boys.