This might have more to do with modern parenting than a particular country's market -- I recall that growing up, being "spanked" for your birthday (in years) was a tradition for my parents (who may or may or not have actually been put across a knee for this fun event), though my parents didn't (neither did any of my friends). BUT it was certainly joked about/alluded to -- and we sometimes got a pat on the tush for every year you've been alive...and, of course a "pinch to grown an inch." But not a true spanking, and probably not past age 6 or so. (For reference, I grew up in southwestern CT, a suburb of New York City.
Hélène -- butter on your nose? OMG, please explain the reason for that tradition!